Essay Example on Harnessing Technology for Efficient Business Operations

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1440 Words
Date:  2023-01-26


The traditional approach towards running business operations is changing rapidly due to the rate at which technology is evolving. Companies/organizations are integrating business information technology initiatives in all departments to streamline their operations, integrating their services, improving customer relationships, making departmental management easier, improving customer service and relationships, among other applications (Laudon & Traver, 2016, p.26). The overall aim of implementing IT initiatives is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of all business operations. CIOs are charged with the responsibility of implementing IT initiatives that integrate well with specific company goals and objectives and give their companies a competitive advantage over other companies offering similar or related goods and services. Of most significance is the fact that the role of Information technology has expanded to provide solutions that improve sales, human resource, customer relationship management and supply chain management. IT also facilitates companies in the process of formulating strategy and business policies. Through the implementation and application of IT initiatives, companies can conduct market research and optimize their strategy accordingly. In this era, the most common IT initiatives are consumer relation management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and business data analytics (Nguyen, Newby & Macaulay, 2015, p. 208). This report offers an insight into the initiatives above and also describes how they can be implemented and integrated into the business operations of particular companies.

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management is a business operational strategy that leverages information technology and communication to improve customer service, builds customer loyalty, enhances customer engagement while at the same time creating product and brand awareness. A robust CRM strategy enables organizations or businesses to not only share information with their customers but also to collect information regarding the performance of their products and their services as compared to those of their competitors (Gronwald, 2017). Organizations can understand the views, opinions and preferences of their customers on a real-time basis based on the feedback obtained. Implementation of CRM initiatives enables companies to stay ahead of their competitors in terms of sales, customer support and also marketing (Kale, 2016). In the long run, the ability of an organization to implement a CRM initiative that is well integrated with all its operations results to a corresponding increase in profitability of that particular organization.CRM initiatives are customer-centric and are continuous. Once an organization embarks on the journey of implementing a CRM strategy, the process does not end; only that it is built on to provide better results based on the goals of that particular organization (Kale, 2016 pp.89). It is worth mentioning that it is impossible to reap the full benefits of a CRM strategy without fully investing in the software and hardware requirements that the initiative is based on. Additionally, every organization has its own unique set of customer related issues that requires a specific kind of CRM strategy to overcome.

Since CRM involves functions of an organization that is in contact with customers either directly or indirectly, an interdepartmental team must be set up to draw up and implement a CRM strategy that is well integrated with the general operational plan of the organization. Of utmost importance is that the team will be able to consider the customer base as an essential asset that has a direct and significant impact on the ROI goals of the organization. The company/organization must then be able to collect, store, analyze, and use data obtained via the CRM system to better understand the views and opinions of their customers regarding their products and services, get a broad view of the market response and be able to forecast changes in market dynamics (Kale, 2016 pp.87). Zoho CRM is currently the most effective CRM system that is available at a lower price for companies of small, medium, and large size.Supply Chain Management (SCM)

The term supply chain management can be simply defined as the flow of products, services and information from suppliers to the end consumers through the distributors. The efficient flow of the products, services and knowledge increases the profitability of the organization (Hao& Song, 2016 pp.751). The primary functional operations that are characteristic of supply chain management include the acquisition of raw materials, product prototyping and development, sales, marketing, logistics operations, distribution processes, financing of organizational operations, and all customer related operations.

A modern supply chain management system is a web that is comprised of different chains that can be accessed remotely 24 hours 7 days a week. The consumer is the center of this collection of networks waiting for his goods or services to be delivered or rendered. Such demand-driven SCM systems link people, business operations and other IT-driven integrated systems such as CRM. Nowadays, SCM systems are cloud-based (Hao& Song, 2016, pp.751). This reduces the risk associated with the entire system and also reduces the cost of hardware and software in terms of equipment required for data storage and available storage space.

Additionally, cloud storage increases the ease of compacting and scaling the system. Another advantage of cloud-based SCM strategy is that companies can use data collected from the internet of things (IoT) using intelligent data and other analytic tools(Kale, 2016 pp.88). SAP SCM is a perfect example of an SCM system that is available in both online and offline models. The system is simple to use and comes with features that reduce the time taken to integrate it with existing systems of the company, such as CRM and social media accounts.

Social Media Initiative

Social media has become an integral part of every business's marketing strategy (Ashley & Tuten, 2015, pp.15). Enterprises are leveraging the power and wide coverage of social media to market their products directly to consumers, promote their brands, conduct market research, for human resource management, to enhance their engagement with customers, among other purposes. Companies have realized that the implementation of IT initiatives gives them a competitive advantage over their competitors (Hao& Song, 2016, pp.755). Nowadays, companies are investing more resources towards integrating social media in their marketing, SCM, and CRM strategies.

Social media enables companies to communicate directly with customers. It becomes easier for companies to engage their customers through direct communication. It is possible to answer the queries that customers may have regarding goods and services while also obtaining their feedback, whether positive or negative (Felix, Rauschnabel & Hinsch, 2017 pp.118). Search engine optimization (SEO), which is based on search engine ratings is possible with social media. Better ratings mean that it is easier for customers to access the company's platform. This way, companies have access to millions of target customers as the number of people using social media for communication has been growing exponentially for the last two years.

Human resource departments of several companies are now leveraging the wide coverage of social media in their recruitment processes. Many people are now using Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to look for a job. Companies also use social media for advertising for jobs (Felix et al., 2017, pp. 120). Additionally, companies can use social media to conduct market research and understand changes in supply and demand. Market research is highly helpful in companies in the process of adjusting their marketing strategies to fit in the changing market environment.

ConclusionTo sum up, this report has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that IT initiatives have the potential to change the operational strategy of a company for the better. Successful implementation of customer relationship management, supply chain management, and social media IT initiatives goes a long way towards giving a company competitive advantage in this highly dynamic global economy (Hao& Song, 2016 pp.751). Thanks to innovation in IT, companies spend less on customer relation management, supply chain management, marketing, market research, advertising, resource planning, data storage, recruitment, among other functions that now IT based. Additionally, the integration of IT systems into a company's operational strategy comes with increased efficiency and thus, profitability.


Ashley, C., & Tuten, T. (2015). Creative strategies in social media marketing: An exploratory study of branded social content and consumer engagement. Psychology & Marketing, 32(1), 15-27.

Felix, R., Rauschnabel, P. A., & Hinsch, C. (2017). Elements of strategic social media marketing: A holistic framework. Journal of Business Research, 70, 118-126.

Gronwald, K. D. (2017). Integrated Business Information Systems: A Holistic View of the Linked Business Process Chain ERP-SCM-CRM-BI-Big Data. Springer.

Hao, S., & Song, M. (2016). Technology-driven strategy and firm performance: Are strategic capabilities missing links?. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), 751-759.

Kale, V. (2016). Enhancing Enterprise Intelligence: Leveraging ERP, CRM, SCM, PLM, BPM, and BI. Auerbach Publications.

Laudon, K. C., & Traver, C. G. (2016). E-commerce: business, technology, society

Nguyen, T. H., Newby, M., & Macaulay, M. J. (2015). Information technology adoption in small business: Confirmation of a proposed framework. Journal of Small Business Management, 53(1), 207-227.

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