Technology has transformed the way firms do businesses by permitting small enterprises to operate in the same business level as large enterprises. Today small enterprises utilize a range of technologies to create competitive advantages in a competitive market. Technology is enhancing business operation by permitting automation of various business processes that include financial processes, decision making, communication, data sharing, and in some cases selling of goods and services. Effective communication, which include well integrated internal communication and distance video conferencing enhance effective sharing of information. This makes it possible for the organization management to make informed decisions even when the organization is operating internationally. Computer network technology has enhanced the process of data sharing, communication and online business operations, and the use of social media in business marketing. Technologies that include cloud computing and big data have made itpossible for small businesses to operate internationally by offering different alternatives of holding large data. This together with advancement of web technology has enhanced business operation through e-commerce (Jetter& Neus, 2009). This has made it easy for small companies to trade internationally, expanding their market and competing in the same field with large companies. Expansion of mobile technology has highly promoted the expansion of internet use among different people in the world including those that are marginalized. This has enhanced the expansion of online market even further. Mobile technology and the internet have also enhanced the growth of remote business operations where companies can easily outsource workers at a cheaper price across the globe, making it easier to acquire the right business expertise despite the business location. This has highly enhanced business efficiency and cost management, which eventually result to increase in business profitability (Cascio & Montealegre, 2016).
Most Critical Business Process that Utilize Information Systems in Walmart
The selected organization in this case is Walmart. Walmart uses information system in enhancing its e-commerce operations. The company has customer relation management (CRM) system which focuses compiling customers’ data especially those purchasing the company’s products online. CRM system records customer interaction over social media, phone, email and the company website providing the management with aptitude to track productivity and performance based on system logged information. The company also has Point of Sale (POS) system which is used to facilitate the exchange of goods for money. This system is used to collect financial data and inventory data enhancing financial management process as well as inventory management system. The company also has radio frequency identification devices system which is used to keep track of goods purchased online while being shipped to the customer. Others include inventory management system to keep track of inventories and ensure they are always within the authorized range, management system that enhance the management processes,, payroll system for controlling workers payment and integrated communication system for enhancing effective communication within the company.
How IT makes the Company’s Business Processes Faster, Cheaper, More Accurate and Customer-Savvy
Information technology enhances business operations in various ways. Automation of various business processes such as the ordering and order processing processes have made it possible for some companies to offer their services much faster compared to competitors. Other organization have considered making the purchasing process much easier by providing e-commerce website where buyers can view products in the market select what favors them and place an order. The online platform provide them with an easier way to view all products on sale, their description, pricing, and customers review, giving them a unique opportunity to select what suits them best. It also permits them to order easily and much faster by eliminating the traveling distance from their home to the stores. The process is completed within minutes after customers make payment and the product shipped to the provided address. This makes shopping much easier and faster. It also eliminates time wasting and cost involved in travelling to the store. IT also compiles volumes of files into a single database where items can easily be sorted or searched within a few seconds, using keyword or unique identification parameters (Ahmad, 2014). This makes it easy to search for needed business information faster and without delay. The ability to summarize huge business data into a simple report makes it easy to analyze business trends and to make business decisions. For instance, information on rate of sales per months can easily be summarized by total daily sales report for one month, information that can easily tell whether the company needs to improve its strategies to increase sales or not (Cascio& Montealegre, 2016).
Automation also makes business process more accurate, especially in section requiring computations. The cases of computational errors while making payments or during production process are completely eliminated, enhancing production of quality products and accurate figures. IT also makes products information readily available online, as well as customers review and information of related or similar products. This makes it easy for customers to make decision about different products in the market. IT technology enhances automation of different business process making the work easier and faster to process. This scales down the number of workers needed to carry out different tasks in an organization compared to organizations that work manually. This thus helps in cutting the operational cost of an organization, resulting to cheaper products or services (Ahmad, 2014).