Overview of Management Support Systems(MSS)

Management Support Systems (MSS) are computer-based systems that are supposed to provide information to be used by or at least to support managerial decision making. Management Support Systems is seen as a subset of management information system (MIS), which extends the information retrieval capabilities of the end-users with ‘query and analysis functions’ for searching a database, generating ‘what if’' scenarios, and other such purposes. Thus they are collection of all advanced computer technologies for supporting solutions of managerial problems. Sometimes called Decision Support Systems or Business Intelligence but there are some distinctions.
A major problem in management support systems development is requirements specification. There exist a large number of systems development methods for MSS(like: the critical success factors (CSF) method and the strategic business objectives (SBO) method). They, as well as other less used methods, focus primarily on specifying managers’ information needs and how an MSS can fulfill information needs. Although, they can be useful, they have one major limitation. Since they primarily focus on information needs they are not complete in generating MSS requirements. More complete needs requirements specification can be generated by focusing on managerial roles and how an MSS can support a manager’s different organizational roles.
In most cases the MSS features easy-to-read bar graphs and quick access to important data. The system enables you to look at a real-time report or to "drill down" to the details of a particular order, receipt, stock-keeping unit (SKU), etc. It also complements decision making by checking current and "what if" scenarios to determine the best use of manpower. With the use of MSS one can examine worker productivity based on comparisons to a pre-set standard and the average worker; refresh your memory on a certain function; and more. The MSS gives you real-time feedback on your operations so you can make quick and informed decisions. The Management Support System is used to interfacing database with the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). With this it contains archive data for all cleared customs declarations for import and export, offering importers and exporters the opportunity to purchase a subscription or one-off report to keep accurate records of their consignments.

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