Information Management Software in Business Areas

Supply chain management software

Motivations for a good SCM system

Several motivations would prompt an organization to operate through an excellent supply chain management (SCM) system. The commitment of the top management, concentration on core strengths of the organization, the long-term vision, the establishment of a strategic SCM plan, and the adequacy of resources devoted for supply chain are the key motivations for an effective SCM system. The factors for a good SCM system constitute the supply chain organization, corporate strategy, performance metrics, process management, and information and technology (Sedera & Wang, 2009).

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Supply Chain Management (SCM)

SCM entails the oversight of materials, finances, information in the process of movement from the supplier to the manufacturer, to the wholesaler, then to the retailer, before reaching the consumer. There two major types of software that seek to improve SCM efficiency include the planning software and execution software. The former enhances ordering processes while the latter monitors the physical status of the materials, goods, and information regarding all the stakeholders (Sedera & Wang, 2009).

Drivers of SCM

The drivers that foster the efficiency of the SCM system include facilities, transportation, inventory, and information. These factors influence the responsiveness of the SCM system in several crucial ways. Fast and flexible transportation modes greatly affect the responsiveness of the SCM system. Maintaining inventory stocks of high level in different locations for an array of products and services further improves the efficacy of an organization’s SCM system (Hendricks, Singhal, & Stratman, 2007).

Major Components of e-SCM

The development of e-SCM processes integrates key components to enhance their functionality. The major components include replenishment systems, e-procurement, collaborative planning, e-logistics, supply webs, and collaborative design and product development (Stein & Smith, 2009).

E-procurement or supplier exchange entails the integration of the Internet or an organization’s intranet for procuring goods and services required to conduct business operations. Further, e-procurement involves business-to-business purchase processes and the sale of services and supplies over the Internet (Hendricks et al., 2007).

Elements and Benefits of SCM Integration

Information integration and synchronized planning are the two dimensions considered in the integration of SCM systems. The elements inherent in information integration include real-time and direct accessibility, and sharing information and transparency. The benefits of the information integration elements include the reduction of the bullwhip effect, early problem detection, trust building, and faster response (Hendricks et al., 2007).

In the synchronized planning dimension, the dominant elements of SCM integration comprise of the joint design, collaborative forecasting, planning, and replenishment. Similarly, these elements benefit the organization by fostering the reduction of the bullwhip effect besides optimizing capacity utilization, cost lowering, and service improvement.

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Customer relations management

The Role of CRM

Customer relations management (CRM) facilitates the accumulation of data required to make decisions regarding the management of customer service. CRM ensures that an organization addresses the issues that affect the delivery of quality services to the customers (Stein & Smith, 2009). Thus, CRM plays the role of enhancing the competitive advantage of a company by creating an image that is appealing to the customers through the delivery of quality customer service.

Today, CRM integrates new technologies to collect data concerning customer issues unlike in the 1980’s. Further, organizations embrace automated sales, personalized marketing, and personalized customer service (Stein & Smith, 2009).

Major types and components of CRM

The key types of CRM include Operational CRM, Analytical CRM, and Collaborative CRM. Operational CRM supports organizational aspects like sales and marketing and customer service processes. Analytical CRM deals with the collection and analysis of relevant data that would help in enhancing customer relationship. Collaborative CRM focusses on the interactive aspect between the organization and the client. The major components of CRM include the market research, sales force automation (SFA), customer service support, and data mining and analytics.

The customer relationship processes

The customer relationship processes involve the capture and maintenance of client needs, behavior, and motivations throughout the relationship period. The utilization of customer experiences to enhance the relationship is also part of the process. Moreover, the processes involve an evaluation of the customer experiences through the integration of customer support endeavors, marketing, and sales. A hosted CRM is a situation whereby an organization outsources part or all of its CRM functions from an application service provider (ASL) (Hendricks et al., 2007).

Evaluation of a CRM system

In my bank, there are several chief functions included in the CRM approach. The key CRM functions identified include lead management, account management, contact management, and customer service. However, the bank lacks the functional aspect of CRM like the use of customer collaboration tools and marketing campaign management.

The SAP ERP

The integration of enterprise planning systems in an organization is crucial for streamlining business processes thereby enhancing its competitiveness. SAP is German-based company has been reputed as one of the corporations offering effective ERP systems. The ERP systems developed by SAP are in the scope of operations, financials, and human capital management. The operations ERP systems offered by SAP mainly focus on materials management, sales and distribution, logistics execution, product planning, and quality management. The financial aspects of the SAP ERP systems center on management accounting, financial accounting, and financial supply chain management. The payroll and e-recruitment applications offered by SAP ERP constitute the human capital management aspects of its systems (Magal & Word, 2011).

The operation models of SAP ERP

The logistics and manufacturing module (SAP SD) of the ERP developed by SAP cover the operations aspect of an organization. In this case, it considers the processes involved in selling and delivery of goods and services to the consumers and business partners. The master data provides the SAP SD with information regarding the consumers and products thereby foster the development of strategies that would bolster the competitiveness of an organization. The purpose of SAP SD is to streamline the operations involved in areas like sales support, shipping, sales information systems, logistic execution, billing, and transportation (Magal & Word, 2011).

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The models that constitute SAP SD include material management (SAP MM), production planning (SAP PP), plant maintenance (SAP PM), quality management (SAP QM), and project system (SAP PS). SAP MM entails the categorization of management functions that support the whole cycle of material flow that starts from the purchase and local control of production inputs to the distribution of the products.

SAP PP involves the supporting standards for the overall standard of manufacturing products to satisfy the realization of production sales, profitability, and customer lead times. SAP PM ropes the planning, processing, and completion of factory maintenance tasks. Further, SAP QM bolsters the quality inspection features of the business, including research, purchasing, and sales. The model permits buyers and industrial personnel to track test results and inspection lots. SAP PS assists in planning, management, control, and determining the cost of R&D initiatives.

The financial models of the SAP ERP

The SAP ERP financial systems are developed for external management and automated management of the accounts payable (AP), general ledger (GL), accounts receivable (AR), and Asset Management (AM). Further, the financial systems incorporate user accounts charts to enhance the monitoring and evaluation aspect of the ERP (Magal & Word, 2011).

The associated models for the financial management aspect of the SAP ERP constitutes of a variety of modules that foster the functionality of the system. The models include asset accounting (SAP AA), controlling (SAP CO), treasury (SAP TR), and capital investment management (SAP IM).

The asset accounting model facilitates the provision of tools to obtain, depreciate, evaluate, conduct, and assist in retiring assets. The types of assets featured in this module include the ones that are of low value, fixed, real estate, and leased. The purpose of this SAP module is to ensure that the assets that undergo depreciation thereby having low value are purchased and aggregated as the unit assets master record. Since financial management required the valuation of depreciating assets, the SAP AA ensured that the same is achieved in an array of ways facilitated by the system (Magal & Word, 2011).

The SAP CO element of the financial ERP system monitors the flow of financial trends of the organization with the aim of controlling the cash flows. The purpose of the controlling module concentrates on enhancing the efficacy of the management by bolstering the provision of reports regarding contribution margins, profit centers, cost centers, and profitability. The SAP CO also covers accounts processing, audit controlling spectrums, and analytical reporting.

Furthermore, the Treasury ERP provided by SAP focuses on the management of cash budgets, loans, treasury, and funds. Moreover, the capital investment management module is applied for planning and monitoring of a comprehensive budget.

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The human capital management models of the SAP ERP

SAP provides various modules that seek to develop plans and systems that ensure maximum productivity of the workforce. In this regard, the vendor developed several modules that are affiliated to the human resource aspect. The components include personnel administration (PA), personnel planning and development (PD), and organizational management (OM) (Magal & Word, 2011).

The purpose of PA is focused on the sound administration of the personnel, the management of applicant issues, incentives provision, and wages (Magal & Word, 2011). Further, PA aims at realizing the effective management of the payroll, time management, and travel expenses.

The PD model of the SAP’s EPR financial systems regards the issue of organization management and workforce planning. The model incorporates the planning of room reservations, seminar and convention management, benefits, personal cost, time management, compensation management, and event management.

References

Hendricks, K. B., Singhal, V. R., & Stratman, J. K. (2007). The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance: A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementations. Journal of Operations Management, 25(1), 65-82.

Magal, S. R., & Word, J. (2011). Integrated business processes with ERP systems. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Sedera, D., & Wang, W. (2009). Towards a CRM and SCM Benefits Measurement Model. ICIS 2009 Proceedings. Web.

Stein, A., & Smith, M. (2009). CRM systems and organizational learning: An exploration Of the relationship between CRM effectiveness and the customer information Orientation of the firm in industrial markets. Industrial Marketing Management, 38(2), 198-206

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