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CIS319:Computers and Information Processing
Workshop #4: Paper
I received 15 out of 15 for this paper.

Craig L. Williams
Instructor: Steve Robinson
CIS 319 Computers and Information Processing
May 25, 1999

Mr. and Mrs. I.T. Fields

We spend so much time at our computers these days, that some might think we are married to them. At Mrs. Fields, computers are playing three roles in the Information Age -- that of assistant, adviser, and communicator (Senn 651). It is also helping Mrs. Field’s manage a vast network of franchises with a small number of corporate employees.

The computer is used as an assistant in paperwork and information tasks. Everything from inventory control and supply orders to personnel scheduling, cookie left over counts and daily sales (Brosh) are done on the computer. Randy Fields felt that computers could handle those jobs to allow managers more freedom to motivate employees (Senn 651).

As an adviser, the computer system calculates new sales quotas or advises on production. It will even suggest various activities to the store manager when traffic falls below a certain level for the day. Staffing needs can also be based upon sales and recommended by the computer advisor. An executive support system (ESS) (Senn 623) will provide Mrs. Fields executives with prices for various vendors. This electronic advisor helps them maintain their high quality standards. They are able to electronically shop for the best prices on their ingredients since cookies are a low-price, high-volume product (Senn 651).

As a communicator, it allows for easy electronic communications between corporate and its employees. Debbi and Randy are able to keep close contacts with their franchisees. This allows for a more modern organizational structure with more direct contact and a smaller middle management. Debbi is known for calling store managers “personally to congratulate them on meeting or exceeding sales quotas” (Senn 651). To receive a phone call from the CEO and not just the District Manager has to be a positive morale boost.

Mrs. Fields has demonstrated that this new “non-traditional” organizational structure works. Even after reengineering their company as a result of a recession in the early 1990s, Randy Fields vision for his wives’ cookie company continues to receive praise (Senn 651). The Information Age is causing business to take a hard look its traditional structures. Many organizations have found ways to shorten their organizational chart, cut out the middle management and save the company money through this approach.

We are winding up married to our computers. Information Technology is also allowing us to stop performing the menial tasks of record keeping, stock ordering and do what it is we do best; interact with people. Thus, Mr. and Mrs. I.T. Field’s have a long life of happiness ahead of them. At any time, they can “check on the kids” by just looking at a computer screen. The marriage of Information Technology and Mrs. Field’s cookies has baked into a delicious success story.

Works Cited
Brosh, Steve. Mrs. Fields, Inc. - Clackamas: Personal interview. May 1999.

Senn, James A. Information Technology in Business: Principles, Practices, and Opportunities. Second Edition. Saddle River, NJ:Prentice Hall, 1998.

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