Enterprise systems refer to those computer applications that are designed to integrate the business processes and information flows across all units or departments of an organization (Dessler & Phillips, 2008, p. 127). Organizations often implement enterprise systems in order to benefit from company-wide access to business information and knowledge, enhance employee productivity, and further minimize the duplication of the firm’s data. Enterprise systems are also helping businesses reduce their costs of information technology, and further minimize the manual input of data that is quite tedious.
Enterprise systems have proven useful in improving supply chain management. A supply chain is comprised of a collection of people, tasks, equipment, data, and other resources that are essential in producing and moving products from a vendor to a consumer. The efficiency of a supply chain largely relies on the efficiency of information from the vendor to the consumer. Enterprise systems improve the supply chain through extending the supply chain in real-time by connecting suppliers and customers with the firm’s business processes (Sehgal, 2009, p. 181). These systems also deliver embedded analytics that monitor or track supply chain performance, thereby facilitating adjustments as conditions and business goals change. Enterprise systems also have some integrated spend management tools that helps a business make informed decisions that result in cost reduction across the entire supply chain.
Enterprise systems have also proven useful in human capital management. The systems’ functionalities can help a business improve its human resources productivity and accelerate the business performance (O’Brien & Marakas, 2006, p. 270). It can help a business proactively manage its human resource operations while simultaneously allowing it to focus on its strategic business goals. A business that has implemented an enterprise system can effectively forecast, deploy, track, and manage its labor (O’Brien & Marakas, 2006, p. 270). It appears that enterprise systems make such improvements through making business information a critical source of competitive advantage. These systems can generate useful information that businesses can utilize in making informed decisions that that streamline business process to help it achieve strategic initiatives.
Dessler, G, & Phillips, J. (2008). Managing now. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
O’Brien, J. A., & Marakas, G. M. (2006). Management Information Systems. Irwin Professional Pub.
Sehgal, V. (2009). Enterprise supply chain management: Integrating best-in-class processes. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.