The Importance of Logistics Dimension in Information Management: The Volkswagen Case Study

The Importance of Logistics Dimension in Information Management: The Volkswagen Case Study

Pedro Fernandes Anunciação (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal), Marina Rosa (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal), Monique de Costa (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal) and Vanessa Oliveira (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3012-1.ch030
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The evolution of management processes and the speed of the markets have highlighted the increasingly evident need for sharing of information and knowledge between the different economic agents. The competitiveness of economic organizations in a relational economic environment requires quality information. This feature is a critical success factor in the performance of economic activities. Organizations should seek to understand the internal and external dynamics inherent to the realization of their economic activities, identifying the various partners involved, and integrating their information systems, among others. The Volkswagen Autoeuropa is a reference to the management and economic organizations in which is evident the importance of information in the development of its activities with its partners and its centrality in the operation of the entire production chain. The objective of this study is to highlight the importance of logistics vision on the architecture of information systems, with reference to the case of Volkswagen Autoeuropa.
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Information is an organizational asset as important as any other physical asset. In the universe of corporate assets, information is particularly important, insofar as it covers all organizational areas, all information systems necessary for the operation of the business and all existing management functions (Anunciação, 2008). In this respect, because the information describes all organizational resources and supports all decision-making processes at different levels of management, it is important to ensure that the systems which support their treatment and storage are duly architected, managed and safeguarded.

Information systems support the economic and commercial activities (transactional systems) as well as the quality of decisions (decision support systems), including the strategy, which depends on the organization's own future development (Domínguez & Garrido, 2010) (McLeod & Schell, 2004). The importance of information systems in the support of organizational activity context stresses the inevitability of management responsibility in understanding the universe or organizational information space inherent to the exercise of their economic activities.

The concept of architecture is the concept that has best demonstrated the role of information systems in supporting operational activities and decision-making. Only through architecture it is possible to understand the level of support of information systems to internal operations, the adequacy of information to the requirements of decisions at different levels of management, the options taken at the technological level, the adequacy of economic performance to the defined objectives, among other important aspects. But it is mainly through architecture that it is possible to assess the adequacy of the requirements of the processing, storage and provision of information to the information space.

However, this concept has been evolving from the set of economic and market conditions through which is evident, either an internal or external context to economic organizations, an either relational or collaborative dimension. This context, it appears that associated with this both society and relational economy, is the concept of organizational and information systems urbanism systems (Anunciação & Zorrinho, 2006; Anunciação, 2004, 1997). This concept represents a significant analytical and qualitative evolution compared to the concept of architecture. The need for a new relational dimension to the organizational and information systems requires the coherent integration of systems on a larger scale and, consequently, to greater dependence on others economic agents.

In an urbanistic approach, the presence of various players and different systems is evident, and the need for referential activity and anchorage points necessary to support and stabilize economic and organizational complex systems (Anunciação & Zorrinho, 2006) (Anunciação, 1997).

The logistic dimension inherent to urbanism concept has a significant importance insofar as it facilitates the understanding of the dynamics associated with information sharing and information systems integration. The principle of logistic require the ability to be able to deliver a particular asset, in this case information, to who needs thereof with the requested requirements (size, time, quality, etc).

It is true that in the economic field information technologies have brought a number of significant benefits to organizations, such as facilitating access to data and information when necessary, whatever the channel, the place or the time. However, this reality becomes a little more complicated when it fits the participation of different economic agents, organizational reality, and different systems in a collective perspective of organizational and economic functioning.

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