Information Technology for Managers

Last Updated: 18 May 2021
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Discrete manufacturing includes the industrial and heavy equipment, high-tech products and components, and aerospace & and defense industries. They feature a number of universal challenges. Consolidation action continues at a rapid cut, yet as competitors enter the worldwide market. Material, parts and power costs persist to rise. Customers, suppliers and customers scream for the integration and installation of general technologies to improve services. Thus, Caterpillar Inc. falls in discrete manufacturing since it is one of the most successful global companies in the business providing advance equipment to customer.

Caterpillar is a successful producer of bulldozers, tractors and other heavy equipment that has been known internationally. Technology is a primary key of success in today’s manufacturing firms, as companies need to optimize implementation, rationalize workflows and determine and mange the presentation of their manufactured assets in real time. The need to deliver specialized technology-enabled business solution based on profound knowledge of discrete manufacturing issues and trends arises to provide best customer experience and service for the success of the company.

Discrete manufacturing includes Enterprise Resource Planning for providing assistance to manufactures to help attain highest value form their activity applications through strategy, planning, selection, implementation, upgrade, and incorporation services. It also includes Supply Chain Management that will assist manufactures capitalize on effectiveness of their supply chains through offerings in advance planning and scheduling, service parts organization and suppliers affiliation management.

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Supplier Relationship Management assist companies to administer suppliers more efficiently to reduce direct and indirect costs, boost quality, improve product design, and prompt responsiveness to customers. Customer Relationship Management helps devise strategies, processes and technologies that will maximize customer satisfaction and retention that will surely help in revenue growth while keeping cost at a low rate. Explained below are the business solutions that utilize information technology as the center of strategy.

These solutions can be integrated to the Caterpillar provide a better edge in today’s business competition. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Enterprise resource planning system can deliver aggressive market advantages by organized transactions with customers, suppliers, employees and partners, optimizing workforce and resources, and dropping costs through automated systems. Though linking systems across the venture and across the supply chain may be simple, the realities are often far more complicated. From software selection to project management to user training, the execution and optimization process requires specialized knowledge.

First business case must be defined clearly for process improvements. Clearly defined project scope is then developed, factoring in available resources and sensible deadlines and expectations. With enterprise resource planning implementation focus on change management and training the users to link people with the improved processes to maximize the value of ERP system. Using effective enterprise resource planning based on hundreds of ERP implementations, upgrades and extensions should be applied to help the company meet their objectives.

Superior program management skills and milestone objective-driven approach should deliver predictable results, and creating ERP implementation plan specifically tuned for each client. This plan analyzes and identifies the most significant issues, and should also consider available resources, time and budget.

Supplier Relationship Management Consulting

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) scratches the surface in deciding whom to buy from and negotiating prices and terms. Although it will take time and dedication in mastering supply management, the company will benefit in driving supplier relationship management improvement in terms of purchasing execution, pay out analysis and optimization, partnership, strategic sourcing, supplier performance management, and contract management, The Supplier relationship management delivers dedicated technology-enabled business solutions based on deep knowledge of industry trends and issues to optimize the efficiency of the company’s dealer relations.

It can be achieved through assessing a company’s current capabilities, crafting strategies, selection of technology, or working development. In applying supplier relationship management, it can deliver improvement in terms of the speed and quality of information flow through and outside of the business, extending outward to their suppliers. The solutions are designed to be fast or rapid to be quick to implement and self-sustaining through rapid achievements of results and a clearly distinct return on investment.

Service Parts Management

Service Parts Management (SPM) is somehow integrated to supply chain performance, it remains to be a dispute for many company. Production of products increases the number of parts in service, as customer demands for higher levels of service. Thus, meeting market needs frequently requires sophisticated stocking decisions crossways on extended supply network Enhanced service parts management can maximize customer satisfaction by enhancing service levels, and at the same time reducing investments in assets and inventory.

Service parts planning includes service parts demand planning, warranty management, reverse logistics, service level and budget planning, service parts network planning, field service management, service execution, and repair management. These techniques will results in efficient approaches that accomplish results.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) includes the methodologies, strategies, software, and web-based capabilities that help an enterprise organize and manage customer relationships. It is the collection and distribution of all data to all areas of the business. Read about dealer satisfaction

The general purpose of CRM is to enable organizations to better manage their customers through the introduction of reliable systems, processes and procedures for interacting with those customers (wikipedia). Today customers have access to products and services from anywhere in the world, it was made possible through Internet technology. Information was made available by a click of the mouse, unparalleled information on what they buy and from what enterprise they are going to buy. People can make comparison and choosing products and services that offer the best value and best service has never been easier for buyers.

In a crowded environment, companies should make themselves different to other companies in a compelling way. The most effective way to achieve differentiation is by means of providing the best customer experience possible. Customer experience remains discrete and unique to each company. It builds customer loyalty to retain customer and boost revenues when it is associated with a company’s brand and overall business strategies. The use of Customer Relationship Management strategy, tools and technology enables and creates sustaining consistent, positive and enticing customer experience.

Customer relationship management includes effective and efficient Customer Experience Management, Sales and Order Management, Customer and Field Service Management, and Marketing and Campaign Management. Each time a customer comes into contact with an organization, that individual develops an attitude or opinion of the company, whether it is good, bad or uncaring. This experience conveys value to the customer, leading to potential buying actions. Poor customer experience leads to the path toward defection, while positive and truly satisfying experience is the first step on the road toward strong allegiance.

Customer Experience

Assessment should utilize a three-step approach to building the foundation of a company’s strategy.

  • Step 1. CRM design should address critical questions about how customers relate or interact with the company, aiming the goal of determining where the faults occur across the customer interaction. Developing strategies to deliver a unique experience consistent with business goals should be integrated.
  • Step 2. Examine the decisive people, process and technology capabilities required to bring consistent, sustainable and cost-effective deliverance of the definite customer experience.
  • Step 3. Provide the basis for setting investment priorities, identifying areas of risk, defining the scope of change, and structure agreement to ensure winning implementation of the Customer Relationship Management.

Sales and Order Management

Sales process often leads to customer relationship, and sales transactions define the customer experience. Whether direct, online or through partners, play a vital role in acquiring customer retention, and should give responsive, high-end service while maintaining profitability target.

Sales Management include the sales strategy, design process, sales order and technology management applications to help create efficient process. Optimizing sales operations and sales management staff, improving product design, and integrating web-based sales channels can be achieved by applying Sales Management. Sales and order management should include the following areas to consider, Product Configuration and Guided Selling to enhance the shopping experience through the integration of an interactive selling experience, pricing option and service design allow customer to personalize their purchases to streamline the sales process.

Sales Force

Optimization to enable, identifies, track and predict sales opportunities through automated prospect and account management. Enterprise Incentive Management should also be considered to motivate the sales force, and this can be realized by establishing effective sales process and incentive programs. Order Management should also be considered to rationalize the entire order management process. Customer Relationship Management can be considered as the heart and soul of a business strategy, it is oriented on customers need. There is a main misconception about customer relationship management or CRM.

They say it is only software application, instead of a whole business strategy. In my point of view, to be more effective, customer relationship management needs to be integrated from end-to-end all over marketing, sales, and customer service to gain success in today’s business environment.


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Information Technology for Managers. (2018, May 15). Retrieved from

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