Information Systems Supporting Business Processes

Executive summary

In the modern world has turned to an automation information-processing world. Overall utility is hence increased by integrating of networks as new communication network and information is at the forefront. Business processes in the modern society are one way or the other affected by information technology. Competition in the business industry is enhanced by enhancing improvement of business processes. This brings about response in terms of investments. In the following assessment, business processes are expounded on as well as functional areas and detail elaboration of the information systems involved.

Introduction

The term business process is used to refer to either business process instances or business process models. The major artifacts of undertaking business processes are business process models. Implementation of these business processes can be conducted using policies and organizational laws. In addition to this, the implementation can also be conducted using a software system, which is aided by a business process management system. According to Weske, business process management system, is defined as a software system that is controlled by ultimate process representation that direct the enactment of business processes (Weske, 2007, p. 7)

According to Page, improvement on business processes brings about competition and greater response towards customers. Apart from these, the firm’s return on investment increases as the same applies to employee’s productivity. By examining and understanding how the business process operates, one attains the power and knowledge of demonstrating the value brought about by the process, its role to the company and the effects resulting from changes undertaken (Page, 2010, p. 3).

Over the years, business processes have been defined differently. One of the definitions of business process is a “structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specific output for a particular customer or market” (Portougal and Sundaram, 2006). Another definition includes structured work activities undertaken within a specific time and place and clearly defines inputs and outputs (Portougal and Sundaram, 2006, p. 2)

Sales order processing is a good example of a business process. In this process taking of the order is considered first, followed by acquiring of the materials needed in order to undertake the order, production of the product, delivering the product, delivering of the invoice to the customer and the last step involves collection of payment (Portougal and Sundaram, 2006, p. 4)

Marketing as a functional business area in business processes

According to Duchessi (2002), the functional areas should put in mind the business process they deal with when strategizing on goals and objectives. The functional areas must be able to decide both horizontally and vertically for the sole aim of setting up objectives that aim to achieve the goals set aside in the organization through improvements in the business process (Duchessi, 2002, p.66). In this paper, focus will be on the Marketing and Sales functional area of Toyota Motors Corporation.

Marketing defines the operations an organization must undertake for the sole purpose of structuring and exchanging values with the clients. In marketing, comprehensive knowledge of the customers and competitors is of great importance. Marketing can hence be defined as an operation undertaken to defining and separating a unique business function (Silk and Harvard Business School, 2006, p. vii)

In Toyota Motors Corporation, marketing is of great importance, the firm has to indicate to its customers the latest brands of vehicles available in the market and differentiate them with competing brands. The ever changing technology ensures that newly enhanced vehicles are availed in the market each and every time. In order for the customer to attain knowledge of the existing new product Toyota must undertake intensive marketing that will create brand loyalty to the target customers.

Business process in marketing functional area

Marketing plan is set out as it indicates the activities to be undertaken in marketing. The marketing activities are conducted to persuade customers on developing a favorable attitude towards the supplier. In marketing promotion, advertising is included while sales entail face-to-face involvement with the customer. On making the sale, the order process is said to have been fulfilled.

There is also involvement of new product in marketing. Basically the process involved in market is constituted by; the firm acquires marketing intelligence of the customer. The firm then sets out objectives of intended marketing. The firm strategies on the marketing while considering the objectives. Marketing plan is the undertaken which makes way for marketing promotion that is subjected to the customer (Mullin and Cummins, 2008, p.30, 31).

Information systems useful in business processes

Enterprise system

In enterprise system, there is integration of information and business processes from all of the firm’s functional sectors. These functional sectors include purchasing, cash receipts, production, and human resource, marketing and sales. In enterprise system, the incorporation of enterprise resource planning systems assists in attainment of support, as the enterprise resource planning systems are a software package that operates on the core system.

It is of great importance that accountants in the firms acknowledge and understand the enterprise systems, as they will play a major role in their installation and operation of the systems. The first priority before installing the enterprise systems is critical understanding of the business processes existing within the organization.

If there is need for change the business, processes should be removed and mapped on the enterprise system. The core of installation of this project falls within the configuration process of the enterprise system so as to satisfy the designated business processes. All stakeholders within the organization are supposed to understand this system to be able to operate it (Gelinas and Dull, 2008, p.3)

Importance of enterprise system in business processes

Effectiveness is enhanced within the organization when costs and benefits of enterprise system are incorporated into business process. Enterprise systems coordinate the operations of business functions thereby providing a unified information resource for the firm. Installation of the system makes the understanding of the business processes within the firm easy to comprehend. Upon installation of the enterprise system intended designated business processes of the organization are completely addressed to.

Enterprise system provides electronic order form in times of purchasing. Application of business rules is eminent when using the enterprise system as it ensures approvals are met and there is ultimate coverage of information. In addition to this the enterprise system ensures the approvals are undertaken by the right personnel in the organization thereby preventing problems in the future.

Orders are routed to the appropriate authorities for their particular approvals. Using the system there is a connection to the data and human resource processes that indicates if the approvals were correct (Gelinas and Dull, 2008, p.34)

Effects of enterprise system

Enterprise system has brought about efficient connection between the buyer and the seller. This facilitates buyer in obtaining a suitable seller. Completion of business processes is enhanced by making data available in terms analysis and management of purchases. This means that data will be available while receiving commodities, approximating requirements for funding, analyzing of performance, and comparing actual expenditures and the budget (Gelinas and Dull, 2008, p.34).

Inputs and outputs for enterprise system

Some of the main inputs of enterprise system are capital, labor, knowledge, and materials. On the other hand, the outputs include waste, services, money, and products (Giachetti, 2010, p. 31).

E-business

E-business is the short form of electronic business systems. The E-business entails electronic network that carry out business processes between organizations and individuals. Internet is also considered as part of E-business. The processes involved in E-business include internal and external processes of interacting, distribution, and manufacturing. The E- business has lead to invention of new ways of operating in and out of organizations. Virtual market places have resulted from E-business hence in the acquiring and selling of goods, organizations tend to change how they select and identify their customers. In addition to this the E-business also helps in determining the cost of buying the goods and the price of selling the goods (Gelinas and Dull, 2008, p.3)

Importance of E-business in business processes

The flow of the operations and works undertake in the business processes is enhanced. Processing procedure is also enhanced by the E-business systems; space, which could be used for other purposes, is saved. In addition to this, ultimate verification is ensured as data such as signatures are scanned.

Easy access to data that is frequently needed is made available due to the usage of E-business. Apart from this processing of data that needs to be reviewed and approved is made possible with the use of E-business system.

Effects of E-business system

There has been an increase in distribution of products and services through the online route (UN Economic commission for Europe and Committee for Trade, Industry, and Enterprise Development, n.d, p.135). Apart from increase in distribution of commodities, products that are not distributed online acquire improvements in terms of service and quality.

This is as a result of using internet as a marketing tool (UN Economic commission for Europe and Committee for Trade, Industry, and Enterprise Development, n.d, p.137). Some of the negative effects include misleading information that can result on use of E-business systems. This information can lead to fraud and purchasing of faulty products. High costs are also incurred in application of E-business systems and the cost of maintaining it (Singh and Waddell, 2004, p. 266).

Inputs and outputs of E-business system

The input of availed to E-business systems is data. The data concerning the business is fed to the computer and the output results as information retrieved by potential customers. According to Dustdar, messages are fed by using of notation that symbolizes the input message and the output messages (Dustdar, 2006, p.101).

Recommendation

The modern world is advancing at a higher rate in terms of information and technology. The strategies of business management are changing and incorporating the current trends. The importance of enterprise resource planning system has taken its toll, as there is constant flow of information within organizations. In order to achieve more gains from the available information technology proper training should be enhanced among the organizational staff on how to install and operate the existing software. On the other hand, the hardware should regularly be serviced to improve efficiency of the machines.

The network to be used within the organization should be reliable and the same applies to the telecommunication channels. Privacy within these networks should be paramount as confidential information is supposed to be access only with the intended people. The network should be efficient, cost effective, and cooperative. The hardware should be up to date in terms of upgrading. The efficiency will be enhanced by using modern state of art hardware as opposed to those already passed by the ever-changing technology.

Reference List

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UN Economic Commission for Europe and Committee for Trade, Industry and Enterprise Development. N.d. Services in transition economies. Geneva: United Nations Publications. Web.

Weske, M., 2007. Business Process Management: Concepts, Languages, Architectures. NY: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Web.