Enterprise systems, customer relationship management, and supply chain management are three enterprise applications. Enterprise systems are based on a suite of integrated software modules and a common central database. Enterprise systems utilize enterprise software to support financial and accounting, human resources, manufacturing and production, and sales and marketing processes. Enterprise systems provide many benefits including an enterprise-enabled organization, improved management reporting and decision making, a unified information systems technology platform, and more efficient operations and customer-driven business processes.
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Supply chain management systems help an organization better manage its supply chain, including planning, sourcing, making, delivering, and returning items. Supply chain management software can be categorized as a supply chain planning system or as a supply chain execution system. A supply chain planning system enables a firm to generate demand forecasts for a product and to develop sourcing and manufacturing plans for that product.
A supply chain execution system manages the flow of products through distribution centers and warehouses to ensure that products are delivered to the right locations in the most efficient manner. Supply chain management benefits include improved customer service and responsiveness, cost reduction, and cash utilization.
Customer relationship management systems help firms maximize the benefits of their customer assets. These systems capture and consolidate data from all over the organization and then distribute the results to various systems and customer touch points across the enterprise. Customer relationship management systems can be classified as operational or as analytical. Operational CRM refers to customer-facing applications, such as sales force automation, call center and customer service support, and marketing automation. Analytical CRM refers to customer relationship management applications dealing with the analysis of customer data to provide information for improving business performance. Benefits include increased customer satisfaction, reduced direct marketing costs, more effective marketing, and lower costs for customer acquisition and retention.
Exercise 2 (2 points): What are the benefits of enterprise systems? What are the challenges of enterprise systems?
Benefits include creating an enterprise-enabled organization, providing firmware knowledge-based management processes, providing a unified information system technology platform and environment, and enabling more efficient operations and customer-driven business processes. Challenges include a daunting implementation process, surviving a cost-benefit analysis, inflexibility, and realizing strategic value.
Exercise 3 (2 points): Search, list and describe five open source ERP Software Systems.
The Apache Open for Business Project is an open source enterprise automation software project licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0. By open source enterprise automation we mean: Open Source ERP, Open Source CRM, Open Source E-Business / E-Commerce, Open Source SCM, Open Source MRP, Open Source CMMS/EAM, and so on.
Apache OFBiz is a foundation and starting point for reliable, secure and scalable enterprise solutions. Use it out-of-the-box (OOTB) or customize to suit even your most challenging business needs. With OFBiz in place, you can get started right away and then grow your operations as your business grows, without the huge deployment and maintenance costs of traditional enterprise automation systems.
Apache OFBiz offers a great deal of functionality, including:
Promotion & pricing management
Order management (sales & purchase)
Customer management (part of general party management)
Fulfillment (auto stock moves, batched pick, pack & ship)
Accounting (invoice, payment & billing accounts, fixed assets)
General work effort management (events, tasks, projects, requests, etc)
Content management (for product content, websites, general content, blogging, forum, etc)
A maturing Point Of Sales (POS) module using XUI as rich client interface
And much more all in an open source package
Compiere (pronounced KOM-pyeh-reh, “to accomplish, complete, fulfill” in Italian) is an open source ERP and CRM business solution for the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) in distribution, retail, service and manufacturing. Compiere is distributed by Compiere, Inc. and through the Compiere Partner Network, a collection of trained and authorized business partners.
Compiere was founded in 1999 by Jorg Janke and was a top 10 project in Sourceforge from 2002 for 4 years reaching one million downloads and 100 partners in 2006.
The application and source code is provided on the basis of the GNU General Public License version 2; this comprises the Community Edition. Also available for a
fee is a Professional Edition with more features, a commercial license, and
documentation and support contracts.
Compiere encompasses ERP functionality, but in order to avoid the duplication of information and the need for synchronization, it’s organized in a different way. Compiere modules are: Quote to Cash, Requisition-to-Pay, Customer relationship management, Partner Relations Management, Supply Chain Management, Performance Analysis, Warehouse, Double-entry Book-keeping, Work-flow-Management and Web Store. A manufacturing module is being developed within an independent project CMPCS
ERP5 has been recognized, since the beginning as an innovative and outstanding ERP solution. Hence, the first deployment of ERP5 for Coramy, a European leader in the apparel industry, was awarded best ERP implementation project in the special edition of Décision Informatique in June 2004.
ERP5 is an Enterprise Resource Planning Solution published as Open Source which means transparency, flexibility and evolutivity for customers. It also means no risks of forced upgrades, guaranteed lifetime maintainability and of course no license fee and no requirement to stay with the same vendor or Service Company forever
ERP5 covers accounting, customer relationship management, trade, warehouse management, shipping, invoicing, human resource management, product design, production and project management.
All ERP5 business processes are implemented based on Zope transactional Workflows. Workflows directly describe the business process of the customer. ERP5 workflows can be customized through the Web and extended to fit each customer specific needs.
All resources in ERP5 can be variated in any number of dimensions, providing built-in configuration for products and reduced design cost for bill of materials (BOM) and bill of operations (BOO) as well as structured rule-based approaches to complex pricing.
ERP5 CRM provides an extensible solution to track customers, their career history, their relation to organizations and all related events. It includes a flexible workflow based ticket management system to support sales opportunities, support requests and non conformance reports. It can act as a consolidation solution for all contact information in an organization with full multidimensional classification and built-in LDAP interfacing.
Open MFG :
OpenMFG (usually abbreviated “OMFG”) is an open source based, fully-integrated accounting, ERP, and CRM enterprise software solution, from xTuple.
Built with the open source PostgreSQL database, and the open source Qt framework from Trolltech for C++, it provides functionality for a range of businesses and industries. It includes the following modules:
Accounting (multi-company, general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, bank reconciliation, financial reporting)
Sales (quotes, order entry, sales reporting, shipping)
CRM (universal address book, incident management, opportunity management, to-do lists, project management)
Purchasing (purchase orders, receiving, vendor reporting)
Product Definition (items, infinite-level bills of material, bills of operations, breeder bills of material, costing)
Inventory (multiple facility, multiple locations, other advanced warehouse features)
Manufacturing (work orders, support for make-to-order, make-to-stock, repetitive)
Planning (Manufacturing Requirements Planning-MRP, Master Production Scheduling-MPS, Buffer Management-TOC)
OpenRPT open source report writer
OpenMFG runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac – and is internationalized (multi-currency, support for multiple tax structures, and multilingual translation packs maintained by a global community). OpenMFG is licensed under the “xTuple Commercial End User License”.
OpenMFG is a manufacturing-centric enterprise resource planning solution which includes functionality to cover business processes for multiple manufacturing segments, customer relationship management, and accounting. The company utilizes open source technologies, and an open source development philosophy to offer its customers a hybrid open source/proprietary solution. The OpenMFG Community (customers, VARs, development partners), all get the source code and have the ability to contribute back to the base application
Open Pro :
OpenPro offers business software solutions for every company looking for more value and more features from their ERP solutions. Since 1998 we have been delivering Web-based ERP software solutions to small and mid-sized companies, and international enterprises.
OpenPro supports most industries with a complete ERP software solution. As a provider of manufacturing ERP software, OpenPro excels in providing a full suite of applications within six modules: distribution, financials, manufacturing, customer relation management, e-commerce and systems.
With its modular design, customers can select the software capabilities that meet
their needs, confident in the ability to expand in the future within the ERP software suite.
The enterprise distribution software module provides features including sales order processing, warehouse management, inventory control, and purchasing, plus other features;
The financial module includes General Ledger, job cost, AP and AR, check reconciliation, fixed assets, payroll HRS, and budgets;
The manufacturing module includes MRP II, capacity requirement planning g, bill of materials, product routing, master production scheduling, shop floor control and bar coding;
The Customer relationship management module provides CRM capabilities to support sales;
The e-commerce module supports customer-to-business transactions, business-to-business transactions, and credit card processing.
The system module provides a wide variety of capabilities to make the system as user-friendly and useful as possible, including workflow management; document imaging; communications; information management system; CMM; knowledge base; and report writer, with a multi-language and multi-currency capability.
Exercise 4 (2 points): Describe the balanced scorecard model and its role in ESS?
In 1992, Dr. Robert Kaplan and Dr. David Norton developed the Balanced Scorecard as a financial and non-financial performance measurement technique that combines several factors to give management a “balanced” view of their company. The Balanced Scorecard Institute defines a balanced scorecard as, “a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals.”
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Why balanced scorecard become necessary with many organisations? According to Kaplan and Norton, companies are using the balanced scorecard to drive strategy execution, clarify and identify strategic initiatives, and conduct strategy performance reviews to better understand their company. The decision to use a balanced scorecard should not be made lightly, and the addition of the balanced scorecard to a company is not just a one-time process, it is an evolution and continuous monitoring of company performance and should be considered a long-term investment.
In particular, the Balanced Scorecard Institute includes a nine step process that has been developed for building and implementing a balanced scorecard. They are:
Nowadays, use of technology through automation is becoming a necessity for company’s who want an effective scorecard process implemented. In step seven, automation, performance measurement software is applied so that managers and knowledge workers get the information they need when they need it. The addition of automation to the balance scorecard implementation assists in transferring information into knowledge and pushes the information through the system. It helps make better decisions more quickly.
Meanwhile, executive support systems (ESS) can be built into many different specific software systems. The balanced scorecard is a specific ESS software program built to help organizations thrive in the economy. The balanced scorecard is an analysis tool to predict outcomes using current raw data. The balanced scorecard is a financial picture of the organization that can be analyzed and used to enhance the future.
The balances scorecard also enables organizations to translate a company’s vision and strategy into implementation working from perspectives:
Business process perspective
Learning and growth perspective
A balanced scorecard is a framework that not only provides performance measurements, but also helps business planners identify what should be done and what should be measured. It also provides a clear vision as to what a business should measure in order to ‘balance’ the organizations financial perspective. The balanced scorecard is an executive support management system that enables organizations to clarify their business or organizational visions and strategies and then translate them into an action plan.
In addition, the balanced scorecard is known as a specific executive support system that is used to enable an organization to better manage its parts to make a more congruent and successful whole. Balanced scorecards use existing data assess performance, to predicts future trends and supplement future business decisions, much like ES Systems. The inventors of the balanced scorecard Kaplan & Norton use this balanced scorecard system model to guide and evaluate businesses through the information age;
Exercise 5 (2 point): What is a digital certificate? How does it work?
A digital certificate is an electronic “credit card” that establishes your credentials when doing business or other transactions on the Web. It is issued by a certification authority( CA ). It contains your name, a serial number, expiration dates, a copy of the certificate holder’s public key (used for encrypting messages and digital signature s), and the digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority so that a recipient can verify that the certificate is real. Some digital certificates conform to a standard, X.509. Digital certificates can be kept in registries so that authenticating users can look up other users’ public keys.
One widely-used tool for privacy protection is what cryptographers call “symmetric” or “secret key” encryption, called that way because one encryption key is used to both encrypt and to decrypt information. This key should obviously be kept secret from anyone not authorised to decrypt the information. Your log-on password, your cash card PIN, and the information you type in to enter your online bank accounts are all examples of secret keys. You share these secret keys only with the parties you want to communicate with, such as the bank or credit card company. Your private information is then encrypted with this secret key, and it can only be decrypted by one of the parties holding that same key.
Despite its widespread use, this secret-key system has some serious limitations. As network communications proliferate, it becomes very cumbersome for users to create and remember different passwords for each situation. Moreover, the sharing of a secret key involves inherent risks. When you give your mother’s maiden name over the telephone, how do you know you can trust the party on the other end of the line? Can you be sure it is really the credit card company you are talking to? Can you be sure nobody is maliciously listening in? If you give somebody your mother’s maiden name and that person abuses it for their own gain, how can you prove you did not authorise their use?
Digital Certificate technology addresses these issues because it does not rely on the sharing of secret keys. Rather than using the same key to both encrypt and decrypt data, a Digital Certificate uses a matched pair of keys which complement one another. In other words, what is done by one key can only be undone by the other key in the pair. In this type of key-pair system, a user holds onto a “private key” and never gives it to anyone, while widely disseminating a “public key.” Any information locked with the public key can only be unlocked by the corresponding private key, and vice versa. Since the public key alone does not provide access to communications, users do not need to worry about who gets hold of this key.
For example, for the purposes of securing e-mail, key pairs can work in the following two ways.
You can digitally sign your e-mail by enclosing an electronic stamp constructed by using your private key. When your recipient gets your message, their computer checks this stamp to see if it can be decrypted using your public key. If successful, the recipient knows that the message can only have come from the holder of the private key.
Someone who wants to send you private e-mail can use your public key to encrypt the message. When you get the e-mail, your computer checks to see if the public key used to encrypt the e-mail is a valid match with your private key. If the match is successful, the message gets decrypted and you can read it. Anyone who receives your e-mail but does not hold your private key will be unable to decrypt and read the message.
A Digital Certificate makes it possible to verify someone’s claim that they are the rightful owner of a given key, helping to prevent people from using counterfeit or stolen keys to impersonate other users. Used in conjunction with encryption, Digital Certificates provide a more complete security solution, assuring the identity of all parties involved in a transaction.
Because a Digital Certificate uses and supplies us with the tools of cryptographic technology, it provides us with the ability to digitally sign documents or transactions, or to verify the signatures of others. It enables us to make documents or transactions only readable by those that we designate. Because Digital Certificates bind a public key to an individual or organisation, in a trusted manner, we can be sure of the identities behind these operations.
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