In carrying out Marketing Analysis, Evaluation and Distribution, Marketing Managers need timely and accurate information about customers, competitions, dealers and other forces in the market place. Marion Herper says the “to manage a business well is to manage its future and to manage the future is to manage information”. (Quoted by Philip Kolter Gary Armstrong in An Introduction to Marketing). During the past century, most companies were small and knew their customers first hand, managers pick up marketing information by starting around people observing them and asking them questions. In this present century, many factors have increased the need for more and better information management. As companies expend into national and international markets, they need more information on large and more distant markets. As income increase and customers become more selective, managers need better information about how customers behave to different products. Marketing managers need information on the effectiveness of their marketing tools. In today’s rapidly changing environments, managers need much better up- to –date information to make timely decision.
Marketing Information System (MIS) begins and ends with the marketing managers to asses their information needs and also develop the needed information from internal company records, marketing intelligence activities and marketing research process. In addition, the marketing information system distributes information to managers in the right form and at the right time to help them in marketing planning, implementation and control. By accessing information needs, a good marketing information system balances the information managers would like to have against what they really need and what is feasible to offer. Sometimes MIS cannot supply all the information managers are requesting for. MIS must therefore, watch the marketing environment and provide decision – makers with information they should have to make key marketing decisions. More so, developing information is required for making day - to – day planning, implementation and control decision. The development of information is subdivided into three (3): Internal Records (Report), Marketing Intelligence and Marketing Research. Most companies of today are faced with the problem of declining level of sales. Therefore, marketing information system as related to the Ideal Flour Mills Ltd, Kaduna is intended to improve the general level of sales in the company and other existing companies in the country.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Paramount problem as regards to the decline in the level of sales in most companies in Nigeria is due to insufficient marketing information system. This situation led the researcher to undertake a research work to know how to improve the standard of marketing information system, and to know the roles that could be played by the marketing information system in enhancing sales of the Ideal Flour Mills Ltd, Kaduna. The problem to be examined here is: How sales could be maintained with the MIS.
1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF IDEAL FLOUR MILLS LTD KADUNA
Ideal Flour Mills Ltd, Kaduna was established as a private company in 1979 with 60% Nigerian equity participation in compliance with the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree in 1997. It has a normal and paid up share capital of N320,000,000.00. The company is located on Plot B Kaduna Industrial Layout, at the Kaduna bye pass, directly opposite Nasarawa Village, Kaduna State. The first phase of the factory was commissioned on Tuesday the October, 1982. It had a capacity of 300m/tones of wheat flour per day. The products of the company at inception, range from Doki flour for 50kg size, Doki semolina of 10kg size, Doki fine brand of 50kg size,. Both raw materials and finished products are subjected to stick routine quality control in its modern laboratory before being released for sales. With the banned on importation of wheat in 1986, the company swiftly converted one of its production lines from wheat to maize milling of 200m/tonnes per day. Products from the extension are maize grits, maize flour, maizoline and fine brand. However, the experiment with local wheat, through of very meagre quantity has been quite successful and has these earned the company the best and most effective information needed. The present company’s staff strength is 270 made up of expatriates and Nigerians is various grades and responsibilities.
The factory has main sections: engineering (Mechanical and Electrical), production, personnel and administration finance, purchasing and sales. Apart from the only office at Lagos where the ordering and receiving of imported raw materials takes place, the company also has sister companies at Port – Harcourt and Ibradan. The company has qualified, experienced and well paid and motivated staff. They produce the best wheat flour, semolina and maize grits in Nigeria. This is mainly as a result of constantly checking and maintaining quality. The companies’ personnel policy includes the following:
a) To provide equal opportunities for all staff for promotion on merit.
b) To pay a fair – rate for work done and for responsibilities accepted.
c) To provide security of employment to all employees in so far as this practicable.
d) To assist staff whenever possible to improve the knowledge of the company’s business thereby creating the opportunity for the further advancement within the company. e) To recognize freedom of association for all staff etc.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study has its objective towards improving the effectiveness of marketing information system and to also improve the sales margin of companies in Nigeria. The objective involves how to analyse the information system of the Ideal Flour Mills Ltd, Kaduna and to bring out where the system has failed and to maker necessary recommendation.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this study (Research Work) is to help or be help to any organization that would like to embark on the marketing information system, so as to help them in establishing a well rooted company through the enhancement of sales. It is also of great importance to other companies in that at the end of the study, they would diligently make reference to this work and also take the necessary measures to meet up with efficient and effective marketing information system that will improve their levels of sales.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Inadequate fund during the course of the study compounded the limitation during the field work, which as such prevented the researcher from extending this project work to other companies. Therefore, the study only covers the Ideal Flour Mills Ltd, Kaduna. i.e. the geographical, social, economic and the cultural set up of the locality, types of marketing information and method of getting information to assist the marketing managers in their dealings.
1.6 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis is the fact that Ideal Flour Mills Ltd, Kaduna needs marketing information system to enhance their sales of production through creating awareness for the customer, market posses and essential tools, which has grown far and wide in terms of quality and recognition. Emanated from quality and extensive marketing.
1.7 DEFINITION OF RELATED TERMS
The researcher took the pains in giving the definitions of some uncommon terms used in this study; this is done in order to make it possible for the project work to have the full knowledge of marketing information system even without being a marketer. The following are some of the related terms used in the study:
Marketing: Marketing is a set of activities that facilitates the exchange of transaction involving “Economic goods and services,” for the ultimate purpose of satisfying human needs. Marketing process involves planning and distribution of Ideals, goods and services to create exchange that satisfy the organisation objectives.
Information: Information is an acquired knowledge that has meaning. In most cases, information elicited some sort of reaction or responses on the part of the receiver, i.e. information affect behaviour (Observable behaviour) i.e. movement of speech or in observable behaviour i.e. change in attitude because of the information.
Marketing Environment: This is the environment where marketing activities are being carried out and this is sub-divided into external and internal environment to the firm. The external forces cannot be controlled by the form while the internal forces can be controlled.
Marketing Intelligence: This is the set of procedures and sources used by executives to obtain their everyday information about pertinent development in the marketing environment.
Variables: These are characteristics possessed by the member of the population. These characteristics may be only in manner of controlling on how attend to marketing situation.
Controllable Variables: These are variables that can be controlled by the marketers in solving the marketing problems of the organisation. These controllable variables could control the price, product, place of distribution and promotion.
Data: These are bits and prices of fast which usually take the form of recorded observation. Data do not provide meaning unless when processed or analysed to become information i.e. meaningful knowledge.
Primary Data: These are data collected by the researcher usually for the first time, this is specifically for the purpose of solving the research problem. The data are usually from oral interview, questionnaire etc.
Secondary Data: These are data that have been collected for the purpose of solving another research problem or data collected for other purpose, other than that of the present research being undertaken.
Marketing Research: This may be defined as the objective and systematic collection, recording, analysing interpretation and reporting of information about existing or potential market, marketing strategies and tactics, and the interaction between market, marketing methods and current or potential products or services.
Uncontrollable Variables: These are variables that cannot be controlled ordinarily by the marketers and are therefore classified as environmental constraints: They include competition, the rate of technology, the state of the economy consumers, suppliers and middlemen, the physical environment such as natural resources and the larger society with it culture.
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