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This research describes how five specific Information Systems are benefiting to companies today. There are many unique and empowering Information Systems, but I will focus this research on Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Database Management System (DBMS), Electronic Records Management (ERM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Transportation Management System (TMS). I will highlight some benefits and also, some challenges companies might face with these Information Systems. By the conclusion, I hope to get the audience to understand and develop their own analysis on each Information System.
Business Solutions in Information Systems
Any business can be successful only when there is a consistent management of organizational and financial data with efficient information systems (Reasons Why Information Systems Are Important for Business Today, 2018). Industries constantly revolve around “Internet of Things,” so there are no alternatives for the correct information at the required times, when it comes to the world of business. With that being said, this helped raise the need to develop and innovate systems that could be implemented to make sure information is accurate and could be readily accessible. An information system that is effective can help evolve an organization to having improved planning, decision-making and with that will come the results a company desires. There are five information systems that I believe could improve and enhance the efficiency of a business as a whole.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a strategy for managing an organization’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers (What is CRM, 2019). This management system helps businesses stay connected to their customers, streamlines processes, and improves profitability. A CRM system, is a tool useful for sales management, contact management, productivity, and overall improving business relationships. Using CRM as a technology product, is often used in the cloud and organizations can benefit from this system by using it to report, record, and analyze the interactions between the organization and users.
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The strategy of a CRM is to have a business philosophy about how relationships with current and future customers should be managed. Looking at CRM as a process, is to always think about how businesses adapt to nurture and manage those relationships. Any kind of business could benefit from using a CRM software, because it can record customers contact information, such as their telephone, email, websites, social media profiles, and lots more. This software can also, automatically gather other information about a company’s recent activities. The CRM system is wonderful at organizing and storing client’s personal preferences. Staying organized with a complete record of individuals and companies, will help to better understand your relationships over a period of time.
CRM is important to have in a company, because it allows the business to strengthen their relationships with customers, colleagues, service users, partners, and outside suppliers. There are many areas in a business that can use a CRM to their advantage. CRM can help the HR function by speeding up the on-boarding process, automating the process of managing candidates, analyzing resourcing needs and identifying skills gaps, and supporting the pursuit of staff retention targets (What is CRM, 2019). A marketing team can use CRM to forecast easier and help to make it more accurate in the process. Not to mention, sales managers can also, use CRM to help them access reliable information about their clients and see which ones would be willing to spend more.
The heart of a CRM’s function is to make good relationships and to keep track of future customers. CRM software improves customer relationship management by creating a 360° view of the customer, capturing their interactions with the business, and by surfacing the information needed to have better conversations with customers (What is CRM, 2019). CRM software shows everything in one place. It is a simple, customizable dashboard that will allow you to look up a customer’s previous history with you, statuses of their orders, and any outstanding customer service issues. If you want your business to last and continue to strategize in the future, then the CRM technology is a must to have.
Database Management System (DBMS)
A database management system (DBMS) is a system software for creating and managing databases (Rouse, 2019). This system makes it easy for programmers and users to systematically retrieve, create, update and manage data. A DBMS also, makes it possible for users to read, update, create and delete data in databases as well. A function of the DBMS is to always ensure that data stays consistently organized and readily accessible.
There are three important things that the DBMS manages for a company. The data, the database engine and the database schema. These elements will help a company provide concurrency, data integrity, security, and administration procedures that are uniform. Database administration tasks that are commonly supported by the DBMS, include performance monitoring, backup, recovery, and change management. Most of the DMBS are responsible for automated restarts, rollbacks, and recovery. This includes, the logging and auditing of activities too.
The DBMS is perhaps most useful for providing a centralized view of data that can be accessed by multiple users, from multiple locations, in a controlled manner (Rouse, 2019). A DBMS is great if you want to limit the data that an end user can see. You can also, use a DBMS to limit how an end user can view data and provide multiple views of a single database schema. A DBMS is beneficial to a company, because it handles all kinds of requests. An end user and software program doesn’t necessarily have to understand where the data is actually located this way. Logical and physical data independence is offered from using a DBMS. Users and applications are protected in knowing where data is stored.
There are many advantages of using a DBMS. The biggest advantage of using a DBMS, is that it allows the application programmers and end users access to use the same data while they manage data integrity as well. Using a DBMS to share data is the best way to make sure it stays maintained and protected. This would be better for a company to do, then to create new iterations of the same data stored in newer files for every single new application. A DBMS provides multiple users a central storage of data that is easily accessed. DBMS would cut processing time in half, while allowing business analysis operations to become more effective and efficient.
DBMS can be used to impose a structured, logical organization on the data. Many views of a single database schema are provided when using a DBMS. A DBMS can process large amounts of data, because it is optimized accordingly to handle such operations. A DBMS is useful when business requirements change, because the systems can be modified easier. New categories of information can be uploaded to the database without any interruptions with the existing systems. The DBMS provides a level of abstraction between the conceptual schema that defines the logical structure of the database and the physical schema that describes the files, indexes and other physical mechanisms used by the database (Rouse, 2019).
There are some weaknesses or costly considerations to consider when using a DBMS. A DBMS must perform additional work in order to provide advantages, which means bringing on more overhead in the company. A DBMS will ultimately use more memory and CPU than a simpler file storage system would. Different types of DBMS will most likely require different levels and types of system resources. Overall most of the mainstream IT organizations will use this software in their mission-critical operations.
Electronic Records Management (ERM)
ISO standard 15489: 2001 defines Records Management (RM) as the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records (What is Electronic Records Management (ERM), 2019). Electronic Records Management (ERM) guarantees that your company has the records they need when they are needed. Records management is referred by a set of activities that are required for systematically controlling the distribution, use, creation, maintenance, and disposition of all recorded information that’s maintained as proof of business transactions and activities.
Records management is mainly concerned with the evidence of a company’s activities. Applying records management usually occurs according to the value of the records, not their physical formats. The essential records managements are capable of assigning specific identifiers to individual records, providing safeguards against all unauthorized changes that are being made to records, and creating an audit trail that is unbreakable. Having an ERM is important for any business, because most businesses need to manage their records for decades. The digital technology these days tend to change often and degrade quickly, so it is beneficial to keep periodically refreshing and migrating all electronic records.
Records management is critical to the success of a company. ERM software simplifies the application of this strategy, helping to manage the life cycle of business records without interfering with your line of business (Laserfiche, 2019). There are four important points for a company to consider, before switching to an ERM system. Developing an informational governance strategy is the first on the list. This strategy will outline all of a company’s content, like how it is organized and who should be accessible to use it.
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Another important point before switching to an ERM system, is to validate the certified management systems. It is best to follow the Department of Defense (DoD) 5015.2. The Department of Defense is strict when it comes to the requirements for ensuring that all records are properly managed and organized. This standard has an outline of all the requirements for managed records that are all classified. An ERM system that meets such strict requirements for the organizing of file structures, provides the highest level of record integrity and compliance.
Always ensure that the electronic documents can be presented legally as an official record. It is recommended that the ERM software is compatible with a broad range of hardware components, in order to meet the state requirements. Usually this requirement may differ depending on where you live. In California for example, this will only happen when the ERM software is a trusted system. A trusted system must utilize both media and hardware storage methodologies. Ensure that there is no way for electronically stored information to be altered, modified, or deleted. Also, write at least one copy of the electronic records or documents into electronic media.
Last, but not least is for a company to track the actions taken on the documents. An ERM system should track every single action on every document throughout the process of the life cycle. This would include all information that is added and deleted. These reports should always track each action, when and by whom performed the action. The reports can be ran as-needed or on a regularly basis. The reports can be emailed to whoever the appropriate party is and the entire process can be automated.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines (What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization, 2019). Some of the major search engines today are, Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Other social media content, like web pages and videos are ranked based on what is considered to be relevant to users. SEO can clearly improve a website’s overall visibility and search ability as well. Most businesses and brands know that they need SEO, but in case you didn’t here are several reasons why your company needs a SEO to be successful.
A huge part of a business’s website performance, critical component of the buyer dynamic, and getting users to engage is by the organic search. As most marketers know, Google still owns a huge portion of the search engine market. Google is documented to own an overall 75 percent of the search engine world. Google is recorded as the most visited website in the entire world to date. Also, it happens to be the most popular email provider as well in the world. The second biggest search engine would have to be YouTube. This means that a majority of people visit Google at least once per day to gather information.
A SEO builds trust and credibility, by establishing a strong foundation. Having a clean, user friendly website, makes it easier for the whole experience. Also, establishing authority regarding search engines like Google has. Authority is accrued over time as a result of quality backlink profiles, positive user behavior, machine-learning signals, and optimized on-page elements and content. Establishing a brand as an authority takes patience, effort, and commitment, but also relies on offering a valuable, quality product or service that allows customers to trust a brand (What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization, 2019).
A SEO greatly impacts the whole buying cycle. Customers most of the time will do their research before buying an item. From a buyer’s perspective, that is one of the biggest advantages of the internet. A game changer to any company is to use SEO to relay messages on when you are having good deals, when new merchandise is being released, and other services that are offered. When done right, this could impact the buying cycle in a huge, positive way. A company must be visible in places where people need them to be, in order to have a worthy connection. Having a local SEO also, enhances the visibility of a company and will help guide potential customers to find the answers faster and what businesses are providing them with that information.
A SEO is pretty cheap if you look at the whole picture and weigh out the payoff in the end. This is a business investment you should make in order for your company to flourish in the ways it should. A good SEO implementation will continue to grow throughout the years. Especially, with the more attention and investments it gets. New opportunities for companies will have the ability to shine through a high quality SEO. Offering a quality SEO to a brand means to submerse a whole SEO team into everything that you believe the brand to be. A way to truly market a brand is to put passion and understanding behind the brand. The same thing can be said about understanding a SEO and watching your company thrive from the system.
Transportation Management System (TMS)
A transportation management system, or “TMS,” is a platform that’s designed to streamline the shipping process (Robinson, 2019). A TMS will allow shippers to automatically process, receive valuable insights that will save them time in the long run and reduce cost on future shipments. E-commerce organizations, distribution companies, and others that move freight on a daily basis, understand that there are a lot of parts to a shipping process. Companies should always look for ways to optimize spending and improve processes. Using a transportation management system, shippers will have an improved solution on their side.
There is quite a bit of benefits that a TMS can provide to a company. The technology that a company needs to make accurate routing decisions based on transit time, quotes, and carrier mix is all provide with a TMS. The carrier selection process can be simplified by using a TMS, because it allows you to evaluate the merchandise that is being sent and lets you match it up with a carrier in the network. The ability to manage the entire process in a single place, will help you to match up similar loads with previous shipment orders. Using a TMS, you can easily track shipments that are on the road and opt to receive alerts when the items are updating throughout the routes. Having a robust TMS, will help to offer more of an in-depth insight and reports on shipments throughout the week.
There are different kinds of TMS and it’s best to research which one would be best for your company. Enterprise TMS allows you to automate your current shipping process while gaining valuable insights that save you time and money (Robinson, 2019). If you are a larger shipper who needs customized solutions, such as dedicated customer specific pricing, then Enterprise would be ideal for you. Along with pros to a TMS, there are also, some challenges you might face.
Some people who work with a number of different shipments, will have a problem keeping the quotes organized. Make sure you always select the best carrier for your area. Some carriers would be best suited for a single carrier and others might specialize in services you need for an extra price. Not every business will use the same carriers for freight. If you don’t have a TMS, then you would have to manually enter in the shipment numbers into forms. This could also, include a number of different carrier’s websites as well. A TMS can provide you with important information about shipments like who is the cheapest and which carrier had the most on-time shipments.
When you have the ability to use a TMS with reporting and analytics you are able to see the effect of your choices within that TMS (Robinson, 2018). Always look at the overall data analysis of a TMS. The cost of shipping might be low on a carriers shipping process, but they could also, report that your items arrived to your customer’s on time 60 percent of the time. The cheapest deal is usually never the best deal. Always remember quality over quantity. You want to make sure you relay valuable information to customers and make sure that they have no issues when receiving products from you. This is one way to increase your customer service and make sure that they keep coming back to your TMS when they have freight that needs to go out.
Information systems are becoming more and more needed in the world, because they have the ability to handle multiple tasks accurately and efficiently. Businesses that can introduce new methods and techniques will survive the economy and continue to evolve per customer demands. Implementing information systems can benefit a large amount of businesses and help keep the internal and external processes under control. In conclusion, I believe these five Information Systems will be the competitive advantages that any company would need to succeed.
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