Planning and Management Systems in Business

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an information and communication technology-based system, which integrates the key business functional areas into a single large information system, which is centralized. This large system regulates the flow of information among the different departments and divisions within an organization. Business processes such as production, marketing, finance and accounts, and human relations can be supported by a well-developed ERP system.

A well-organized ERP system when implemented improves the effectiveness of the organizational performance, which in turn improves the availability of timely business information and improved performance of internal processes resulting in better customer relationships. The major disadvantage is that it is expensive to install and may sometimes prove to be a failure if the people dealing with it do not have adequate IT knowledge.

Components of a Supply Chain (SCM)

The supply chain involves all the activities connected with the conversion of products from raw materials until delivering them to the end-users. Thus, the supply chain consists of the complete group of firms that work in unison. These supply chain partners help the firm in the activities of designing, producing, delivering, and servicing the products. The components of a supply chain include raw material and component suppliers, subcontracting firms, logistics companies, distribution agents, and retailers.

The function of the supply chain is to ensure that there is a smooth flow of materials from the design stage to delivery to ultimate customers. Supply chain management (SCM) can be used to reduce the uncertainty along the supply chain, and by minimizing the delays; it improves the performance of supply chain partners. It enables the elimination of unplanned or rush activities along the supply chain.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a process where methodologies and tools that enable firms to manage their relationship with customers in an organized manner. The value-added functionality of CRM is its ability to provide the highest level of service extended to the customers, especially to those customers who are profitable than others. By enabling firms to understand the change in the needs and demands of the customers swiftly, CRM equips the firms to meet these changes instantly and strengthen their competitive advantage. The collection of complete information about customer preferences and dealings is the key strength of CRM.