Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

The Impact of a Powerful New Process at Moosehead

Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

The Impact of a Powerful New Process at Moosehead

Article excerpt

Over the past two and one-half years, Moosehead Breweries Limited has undergone a complete information processing transformation with the implementation of a management information system. From the outset of the project, the executive team made it very clear that it wanted to abandon the old paradigm of a paper-based information system. During the implementation process, I was introduced to the concept of executive information systems or EIS by our external consultants, Impletech International Ltd. It was determined that this process would best fit the information processing objectives of the management team of the company. However, the management team quickly identified the leverage that EIS would provide, not only for their decision-making, but also to other management and professional staff and decided that it was inappropriately named. From that point on, our new process would be referred to as the "Enterprise Information System."

EIS is a work-station-based management process designed to provide information on areas of the business that have been defined as "key performance indicators" allowing us to view and sometimes manipulate data from corporate and external sources. EIS is providing our employees with crucial information in a very timely fashion enabling us to make management decisions quickly and effectively. The system is built upon three basic principles which describe how information is interpreted: exception reporting, trend analysis, and drill-down. Moosehead has developed several distinct data sources in which information is collected and stored. We determined early on that information that was not readily accessible or in a format that management did not understand, has no value. This is where EIS is valuable because it accumulates this information and makes it available to the management team through a single application. The information is presented to the user in a graphical summarized format using various bar, line and pie charts. This format provides visual clues as to the performance of a business indicator as well as the ability to monitor changes over time.

A number of applications have been developed thus far. One example is with shipments, where vast amounts of data have been presented in an understandable format to provide a detailed insight into our distribution system. A user can sit down in front of his or her PC and view shipments measured in hectolitres, dollars and profit impact. This can be obtained for any week, for any plant or distribution site, and the data is interpreted graphically simply by a click of the mouse. …

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