Concepts and elements of channel information system
Hirak SinhaRoll no. 28
The efficiency and effectiveness of any marketing channeldepend very much on the collection, creation, managementand communication of information. Channel Information system (CIS) are basically used tocollect, store and interpret information in a manner that addsvalue to an organization’s functions.
“Information is data that has been processed into a form that is meaningfulto the recipient and is of real or perceived value in current or prospectiveactions or decisions.” Channel information systems comprise an information database and thehardware and networks that help in the collection, processing andtransmission of information. The hardware, software and networks varydepending on the application requirements of channel members. They varyfor business-to-business applications, retailing applications, business toconsumer applications and interactive applications for consumers.
Channel information systems provide timely information fordecision-making. Operational data is the basis for planning the channel andevaluating the performance of the channel. Operational planning includes forecasting and providing theresources to achieve the forecast. Evaluation is concerned with reviewing the results achievedand to check whether the performance is satisfactory or not.
Two major components of a channel information system are: The hardware and networks making up the technologicalhousing of the information system. The database of information itself.
a) Business to Business Application (B2B): Dedicated electronic technologies are used tofacilitate communication among channel members within a distribution channel. Electronic data interchange (EDI): It replaces paper based documents such as purchaseorders, invoices, packing slips, etc., with electronic ones. This increases accuracy andreduces human labor. Shipping container Marking (SCM): It involves labeling shipping containers with barcodesto identify each carton shipped as well as its vendor, order number and destination store. Barcoding: It is used at the point-of-sale to improve inventory control and minimize errors inpricing.b) Retail Applications: Information systems are used by retailers to enhance communicationsbetween retail outlets and headquarters
Shipping Container Marking (SCM): It is used to improve the distribution process at bothwholesaler and distribution centre levels for the retailer. The efficiency of ordering anddistribution tasks can be improved by the application of SCM technology in retailmanagement. Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL): It is used in retail supermarkets and hypermarkets to enableretailers to change prices whenever the need arises without changing labels on the shelf or forall products thereby saving costs.c) Business-to-Consumer Online Applications: Online computer services, along withinteractive multimedia technologies form the infrastructure for the “information superhighway” which links consumers have access to internet which is one large non-commercialnetwork of computers.d) Interactive Multimedia Applications: Interactive multimedia (IM) for consumer userefers to electronic technology that stores the characteristics of television, telephone andcomputer and brings information, shopping opportunities and multimedia programming toconsumers.
A database is a shared collection of logically related data, organized to meet the needs of anorganization. The database management system (DBMS) is a support software used tocreate, manage and protect organizational data.A company can achieve greater accuracy in results in using information stored in a database.Data stored in a database has to be converted into useful information for distribution channelsto become more efficient.Data warehousing is the establishment and maintenance of a large data storage facilitycontaining data on all aspects of the enterprise