In the book "Enterprise Information Systems: Contemporary Trends and Issues," David Olson states that enterprise systems integrate a number of different applications, protocols and formats. In doing so, an enterprise system allows companies to integrate business processes, such as sales, deliveries and accounts receivable, by sharing information across business functions and employee hierarchies. Enterprise systems can replace multiple independent systems that may or may not interact with other systems and that process data to support particular business functions or processes. For example, enterprise resource planning supports the entire sales process that includes pre-sales activities, sales orders, inventory sourcing, deliveries, billing and customer payments. Enterprise resource planning, supply chain management and customer relationship management systems are each examples of enterprise systems.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management systems were developed to address the need to raise a sales department’s productivity and make the management of a company’s customers an effective way to increase sales. With CRM functions, such as sales opportunity management, a company learns more about its customers’ needs and buying behavior and combines this information with market information to enhance the quality of the company’s marketing plans and sales forecasts. Other attributes of the CRM system, including the integration of this system with other systems and system access via mobile devices, allow employees to update and compare data regardless of the system it’s in and to access information from any client site or other location. Equally important, CRM supports mass e-mail communications and automates the sales process workflow to improve employee productivity.
Supply Chain Management
A supply chain refers to the collection of people, tasks, equipment, data and other resources required to produce and move products from a...