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Decision support systems often integrate technology into the managerial decision-making process. Advantages of decision support systems include improvements in overall efficiency, the development of a competitive advantage, and better satisfaction among those involved in the decision process. Other advantages may also come into play depending on the company and the individuals used in the decision-making process. For example, other advantages of decision support systems fall under the concept of economies of scale. As the company uses the system more over time, costs may go down considerably.
Companies often use a continual process to find improvements for their operations. Making decisions in business can take hours, days, and even months, depending on the overall impact on the company. In addition to the time frame, companies must deal with the repetition of decisions, mostly on a nonstop basis. Therefore, a decision support system can cut out some of the problems associated with repeated decisions. This allows managers and other decision makers to lean on a system that allows for better efficiency.
Using computers is often the key to the advantages of decision support systems. Technology can gather information quicker than older, more manual processes. Additionally, companies can program technology to work through data without the use of human input. These systems can then provide a more direct analysis approach to review. In most cases, decision support systems shorten the time — and improve efficiency — in a company’s decision process.
A competitive advantage is the ability of one company to do something better than another, with the inability of other businesses to copy this process. Advantages of decision support systems are meant to provide opportunities that other companies cannot duplicate. For example, a company can use computers to gather information from consumers. Through these networks, the company can increase its business intelligence, while others cannot. Using homegrown technology can increase this competitive advantage even more.
Unsatisfied employees are typically not the best workers in an organization, especially when these individuals work in the company’s management. Extremely busy individuals also tend to avoid the information gathering process. In many cases, managers may not even see the purpose of gathering information when they believe the decision process is much easier than it really is. Getting employees to buy into the new decision support system may also be a problem. Owners and executives will need to ensure that employees continue to use the system properly, which should increase their satisfaction.