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Systems for linking the Enterprise

If we observe the some of the enterprises, lack of proper coordination and integration seems to be a major issue which is worrying them. Getting all the different kinds of systems in a company to work together has proven a major challenge. One solution is to implement enterprise applications, which are systems that span functional areas, focus on executing business processes across the business form, and include all levels of management. Enterprise applications help businesses become more flexible and productive by coordinating their business processes more closely and integrating groups of processes so they focus on efficient management of resources and customer service.

There are four major enterprise applications: (i) enterprise systems (ii) supply chain management systems (iii) customer relationship management (iv) knowledge management systems. Each of these enterprise applications integrated a related set of functions and business processes to enhance the performance of the organization as a whole.

  1. Enterprise Systems: Firms use enterprise systems, also known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, to integrate business processes in manufacturing and production, finance and accounting, sales and marketing, and human resources into a single software system. Information that was previously fragmented into many different systems is stored in a single comprehensive data repository where it can be used by many different parts of the business.
  2. Supply Chain Management (SCM) Systems: Firms use supply chain management (SCM) systems to help manage relationships with their suppliers. These systems help suppliers, purchasing firms, distributors, and logistics companies share information about orders, production, inventory levels, and delivery of products and services so that they can source, produce, and deliver goods and services efficiently. Supply chain management systems are one type of inter-organizational system because they automate the flow of information across organizational boundaries.
  3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: Firms use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to help manage their relationships with their customers. CRM systems provide information to coordinate all of the business processes that deal with customers in sales, marketing, and service to optimize revenue, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. This information helps firms identify, attract, and retain the most profitable customers; provide better service to existing customers; and increase sales.
  4. Knowledge Management Systems: Some firms perform better than others because they have better knowledge about how to create. Produce, and deliver products and services. This firm knowledge is difficult to imitate, unique and can be leveraged into long-term strategic benefits. Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) enable organizations to better manage processes for capturing and applying knowledge and expertise. These systems collect all relevant knowledge and experience in the firm and make it available wherever and whenever it is needed to improve business processes and management decisions. They also link the firm to external sources of knowledge.

Enterprise applications are designed to coordinate multiple functions and business processes. Enterprise systems integrate the key internal business processes of a firm into a single software system to improve coordination and decision making. Supply chain management systems help the firm manage its relationship with suppliers to optimize the planning, sourcing, manufacturing, and delivery of products and services. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems coordinate the business processes surrounding the firm’s customers. Knowledge management systems enable firms to optimize the creation, sharing, and distribution of knowledge.

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