Friday, 6 September 2013

Chapter 11 : Building a customer - Centric organization - Customer Relationship Management


Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is a business philosophy based on the premise that those organizations that understand the needs of individual customers are best positioned to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the future.

- A customer strategy starts with understanding who the company's customers are and how the company can meet strategic goals.

- As the business world increasingly shifts from product focus to customer focus, most organizations recognize the treating existing customers well is the best source of profitable and sustainable revenue growth in the age of e-business, however, an organization is challenged more than ever before to truly satisfy its customers.


Recently, Frequency, and Monetary Value

An organization can find its most valuable customers by using a formula that industry insiders call RFM-recency, frequency, and monetary value. In other words, an organization must track:
- How recently a customer purchased items (recently)
- How frequently a customer purchases an item (frequently
How much a customer spends on each purchase (monetary value)


The evolution of CRM

Knowing the customer, especially knowing the profitability of individual customers, is highly lucrative in the financial service industry.

There are three phases in the evolution of CRM:
1.                               CRM Reporting technology help organizations identify their customers across other applicants
2.                               CRM analysis technology helps organizations segment their customers into categories such as best and worst customers.
3.                               CRM predicts technological help organizations make predictions regarding customer behavior such as which customers are at risk of leaving.


The Ugly Side of CRM: Why CRM Matters More Now than Ever Before

Now companies have no choice as the power of the customer grows exponentially as the internet grows. In every case, customers have become an integral part of the action as a member of the aggregated, interactive, self-organizing, auto-entertaining audience on businesses. However, this should no be a surprise, since it was the customers crazy passion and hobbies and obsessions-that build up the web in the first place.



Customer Relationship Management's Explosive Growth

When customers buy on Internet, they see, and they steer, entire value chains.
- Customer web interaction become conversations, interactive dialogs with shared knowledge, not just business transaction. Web- based customer care can actually become the focal point of customer relationship management and provide breakthrough benefits for both the enterprise and its customers, substantially reducing costs while improving service.
- Current users allow allocating 20 percent of their IT budget to CRM solutions.



Using Analytical CRM to Enhance Decisions

The two components of a CRM strategy are:
Operational CRM supports traditional transactional processing for day-to-day front-office operations or systems that deal directly with the customers.
Analytical CRM supports back-office operations and strategic analysis and includes all systems that do not deal directly with the customers.
The primary difference between operational CRM and analytical CRM in the direct interaction between the organization and its customers.

-Personalization occurs when a website can know enough about a person's likes and dislikes that it can fashion offers that are more likely to appeal to that person. Many organizations are now utilizing CRM to create customer rules and templates that marketers can use to personalize customer messages.



Customer Relationship Management Success Factor

CRM solutions make organizational business processes more intelligent. This is achieved by understanding customer behavior and preferences, then realigning product and service offering and related communications to make sure they are synchronized with customer needs and preferences. If an organization is implementing a CRM system, it should study the industry best practices to help ensure a successful implementation.
Using he analytical capabilities of CRM can help a company Anticipate customer need and proactively serve customers in way that build relationship, create loyalty, and enhance bottom lines.

Chapter 10 : Extending the organization - Supply Chain Management


BASICS OF SUPPLY CHAIN

SCM – the management of information flows between and among stages in a supply chain to maximize total supply chain effectiveness and profitability
The supply chain has three main links.
1.       Materials flows from suppliers and their upstream suppliers at all levels
2.       Transformation of materials into semi-finished products, or the organization’s own production processes
3.       Distribution of products to customers and their downstream customers at all levels.


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY’S ROLE IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

 Information technology’s primary role in SCM is creating the integrations or tight process and information linkages between functions within a firm such as marketing, sales, finance, manufacturing, and distribution – and between firms, which allow the smooth, synchronized flow of both information and product between customers, suppliers and transportation providers across the supply chain.


VISIBILITY
·         Supply Chain Visibility is the ability to view all areas up and down the supply chain. Changing supply chains requires a comprehensive strategy buoyed by information technology. Organizations can use technology tools that help them integrate upstream and downstream, with both customers and suppliers.
·         The bullwhip effect occurs when distorted product demand information passes from one entity to the next throughout the supply chain.


CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR
·         The behavior of customers has changed the way businesses complete. Customers will leave if a company does not continually meet their expectations. They are more demanding because they have information readily available, they know exactly what they want, and they know when and how they want it.
·         Demand planning software generates demand forecasts using statistical tools and forecasting techniques. Companies can respond faster and more effectively to consumer demands through supply chain enhancements such as demand planning software.
·         Once an organization understands customer demand and its effect on the supply chain it can begin to estimate the impact that its supply chain will have on its customers and ultimately the organization’s performance.


COMPETITION
·         Supply chain planning (SCP) software uses advanced mathematical algorithms to improve the flow and efficiency of the supply chain while reducing inventory. SCP depends entirely on information for its accuracy.
·         Supply chain execution (SCE) software automates the different steps and stages of the supply chain. This could be as simple as electronically routing orders from a manufacturer to a supplier.

SPEED
·         These systems raise the accuracy, frequency and speed of communication between suppliers and customers, as well as between internal users.
·         Another aspect of speed is the company’s ability to satisfy continually changing customer requirements efficiently, accurately and quickly.


SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT SUCCESS FACTORS

·         To succeed in today’s competitive markets, companies must align their supply chain with the demands of the markets they serve.
·         Supply chain performance is now a distinct competitive advantage for companies proficient in the SCM area.


MAKE THE SALE TO SUPPLIERS

The hardest part of any SCM system is its complexity because a large part of the system extends beyond the company’s walls. Not only will the people in the organization need to change the way they work, but also the people from each supplier that is added to the network must change. Be sure suppliers are on board with the benefits that the SCM system will provide.


WE AN EMPLOYEES OFF TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PRACTICES

Operations people typically deal with phone calls, faxes and orders scrawled on paper and will most likely want to keep it that way. Unfortunately, an organization cannot disconnect the telephones and fax machines just because it is implementing a supply chain management system. If the organization cannot convince people that using the software will be worth their time, they will easily find ways to work around it, which will quickly decrease the changes of success for the SCM system.


ENSURE THE SCM SYSTEM SUPPORTS THE ORGANIZATION GOALS

It is important to select SCM software that gives organizations an advantage in the areas most crucial to their business success. If the organizational goals support highly efficient strategies, be sure the supply chain design has the same goals.


DEPLOY IN INCREMENTAL PHASE AND MEASURE AND COMMUNICATE SUCCESS

Design the development of the SCM system in incremental phases. For instance, instead of installing a complete supply chain management system across the company and all suppliers at once, start by getting it working with a few key suppliers, and then move on to the other suppliers. Along the way, make sure each step is adding value through improvements in the supply chain’s performance. While a big-picture perspective is vital to SCM success, the incremental approach means the SCM system should be implemented in digestible bites and also measured for success one step at a time.


BE FUTURE ORIENTED

The supply chain design must anticipate the future state of the business. Because the SCM system likely will last for many more years than originally planned, managers need to explore how flexible the systems will be when (not if) changes are required in the future. The key is to be certain that the software will meet future needs, not only current needs. 


Saturday, 31 August 2013

CHAPTER 9 : ENABLING THE ORGANIZATIONS - DECISION MAKING

·        Organizational information
ü Employees must be able to obtain and analyze to many different levels, formats and granularities of organizational information to make decision
ü Successfully collecting, compiling, sorting and analyzing information can provide tremendous insight into how an organization is performing

·        The value of timely information
ü Timeliness is an aspect of information that depends on the situation :
-         Real-time information – immediate up-to-date information
-         Real-time system – provides real-time information in response to query requests

·        The value of quality information
ü Business decisions are only as good as the quality of the information used to make the decisions
ü You never want to find yourself using technology to help you make a bad decision faster
ü Characteristic of high-quality information include :
-         Accuracy
-         Completeness
-         Consistency
-         Uniqueness
-         Timeliness

·        Understanding the cost of poor information
ü The four primary sources of low quality information include :
                                                       I.            Online customers intentionally enter inaccurate information to protect their privacy
                                                     II.            Information from different systems have different entry standards and formats
                                                  III.            Call center operators enter abbreviated or erroneous by accident or to save time
                                                  IV.            Third party and external information contains inconsistencies, inaccuracies and errors

ü Potential business effects resulting from low quality information include :
-         Inability to accurately track customers
-         Difficulty identifying valuable customers
-         Inability to identify selling opportunities
-         Marketing to nonexistent customers
-         Difficulty tracking revenue due to inaccurate invoices
-         Inability to build strong customer relationship


·        Understanding the benefits of good information
ü High quality information can significantly improve the chances of making a good decision
ü Good decision can directly impact an organization’s bottom line



DECISION MAKING
Reasons for the growth of decision making information systems
-people need to analyze large amounts of information
-people must take decision quickly
-people must apply sophisticated analysis techniques, such as modeling and foresting, to make good decisions
-people must protect the corporate asset of organizational information

MODEL
A simplified representation or abstraction of reality

IT SYSTEMS IN AN ENTERPRISE
EXECUTIVES - EXECUTIVE INFORMATION SYSTEM (EIS)
MANAGERS - DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS (DSS)
ANALYSIS – TRANSACTION PROCESSING SYSTEMS (TPS)


TRANSACTION PROCESSING SYSTEMS

-Moving up through the organizational pyramid users move from requiring transactional information to analytical information
-Transaction processing system – the basic business system that serves the operational level (analysts) in an organization
-Online transaction processing (OLTP) – the capturing of transaction and event information using technology to (1) process the information according to defined business rules, (2) store the information, (3) update existing information to reflect the new information
-Online analytical processing (OLAP) – the manipulation of information to create business intelligence in support of strategic decision making


DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS

-Decision support systems (DSS) – models information to support managers and business professionals during the decision-making process
-Three quantitative models used by DSSs include :
1. Sensitively analysis – the study of the impact that changes in one (or               more) parts of the model have on other parts of the model
2. What-if analysis – checks the impact of a change in an assumption on the proposed solution
3. Goal-seeking analysis – finds the inputs necessary to achieve a goal such as a desired level of output


EXECUTIVE INFORMATION SYSTEMS

-Executive information system (EIS) – a specialized DSS that supports senior level executives within the organization
-most EISs offering the following capabilities :
1.consolodation– involves the aggregation of intelligent system that mimics the evolutionary, survival-of-the-fittest process to generate increasingly better solutions to a problem
2.drill-down – enables, users to get details and details of details, of information
3.slice-and-dice – looks at information from different perspectives


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

-INTELLIGENT SYSTEM – various commercial applications of artificial intelligence
-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) – Simulates human intelligence such as the ability to reason and learn
-advantages: can check info on competitor
-the ultimate goal of AI is the ability to build a system that can mimic human intelligence
-Four most common categories of AI include :
1. expert system – computerized advisory programs that imitate the reasoning processes of expert in solving difficult problems
2. neural network – attempts to emulate the way the human brain works
-fuzzy logic – a mathematical method of handling imprecise or      subjective information
3. genetic algorithm – an AI system that mimics the evolutionary, survival-if-the-fittest process to generate increasingly better solutions to a problem
4. intelligent agent – special-purposed-knowledge-based information system that accomplishes specific tasks on behalf of its users


DATA-MINING

-data-mining software includes many forms of AI such as neural networks and expert system
-common forms of data-mining analysis capabilities include:
1. cluster analysis
2. association detection
3. statistical analysis


CLUSTER ANALYSIS

-CLUSTER ANALYSIS – To divide an information set into mutually exclusive groups such that the members of each group are as possible to one another and the different groups are as far apart as possible
-CRM systems depend on cluster analysis to segment customer information and identify behavioral traits


ASSOCIATION DETECTION

-Association detection reveals the degree to which variables are related and the nature and frequency of these relationships in the information
-Market basket analysis such items as Web sites and checkout scanner information to detect customers’ buying behavior and predict future behavior by identifying affinities among customers’ choices of products and services


STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS performs such functions as information correlations, distributions, calculations and variance analysis
- forecast– predictions made on the basis of time-series information
- time-series information – time-stamped information collected at a particular frequency

Friday, 19 July 2013

CHAPTER 7 : STORING ORGANIZATIONAL INFORMATION

What is INFORMATION

Information is stored in databases.
Database – maintains information about various types of objects (inventory), events (transactions), people (employees), and places (warehouses)


Database models include:

  • Hierarchical database model – information is organized into a tree-like structure (using parent/child relationships) in such a way that it cannot have too many relationships
  • Network database model – a flexible way of representing objects and their relationships
  • Relational database model – stores information in the form of logically related two-dimensional tables


Entity – a person, place, thing, transaction, or event about which information is stored
The rows in each table contain the entities

Attributes (fields, columns) – characteristics or properties of an entity class
The columns in each table contain the attributes


Primary keys and foreign keys identify the various entity classes (tables) in the database:

  • Primary key – a field (or group of fields) that uniquely identifies a given entity in a table
  • Foreign key – a primary key of one table that appears an attribute in another table and acts to provide a logical relationship among the two tables

 Database advantages from a business perspective include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased scalability and performance
  • Reduced information redundancy
  • Increased information integrity (quality)
  • Increased information security


A well-designed database should :
  • Handle changes quickly and easily
  • Provide users with different views
  • Have only one physical view
  • --Physical view – deals with the physical storage of information on a storage device

  • Have multiple logical views
  • --Logical view – focuses on how users logically access information


A database must scale to meet increased demand,  while maintaining acceptable performance levels

  • Scalability – refers to how well a system can adapt to increased demands
  • Performance – measures how quickly a system performs a certain process or transaction

Information integrity – measures the quality of information

Integrity constraint – rules that help ensure the quality of information

  • Relational integrity constraint
  • Business-critical integrity constraint



Databases offer several security features including:

  • Password – provides authentication of the user
  • Access level – determines who has access to the different types of information
  • Access control – determines types of user access, such as read-only access


Database management systems (DBMS) – software through which users and application programs interact with a database.

Data-driven Web sites – an interactive Web site kept constantly updated and relevant to the needs of its customers through the use of a database.

 Integration – allows separate systems to communicate directly with each other :

  • Forward integration – takes information entered into a given system and sends it automatically to all downstream systems and processes
  • Backward integration – takes information entered into a given system and sends it automatically to all upstream systems and processes





Sunday, 14 July 2013

CHAPTER 6 : VALUING ORGANIZATIONAL INFORMATION

ORGANIZATIONAL INFORMATION

  • ·         Information is everywhere in an organization
  • ·         Employees must be able to obtain and analyze the many different levels, formats and granularity of organizational information to make decisions
  • ·         Successfully collecting, compiling, sorting and analyzing information can provide tremendous insight into how an organization is performing
  • ·         Levels, formats and granularity of organizational information



THE VALUE OF TRANSNATIONAL AND ANALYTICALLY INFORMATION
  • ·         Transaction information verses analytically information


    THE VALUE OF TIMELY INFORMATION

    ·         Timeliness is an aspect of information that depends on the situation
    §  Real-time information – immediate, up-to-date information
    §  Real-time system – provides real-time information in response to query requests

    THE VALUE OF QUALITY INFORMATION

    ·         Business decisions are only as good as the quality of the information used to make the decisions
    ·         You never want to find yourself using technology to help you make a bad decision faster


    UNDERSTANDING THE COSTS OF POOR INFORMATION

    ·         The four primary sources of low quality information include;

    §  Online customers intentionally enter inaccurate information to protect their privacy
    §  Information from different systems have different entry standards and formats
    §  Call center operators enter abbreviated or erroneous information by accident or to save time
    §  Third party and external information contains inconsistencies, inaccuracies and errors

    ·         Potential business effects resulting from low quality information include;

    §  Inability to accurately track customers
    §  Difficulty identifying valuable customers
    §  Inability to identify selling opportunities
    §  Marketing to nonexistent customers
    §  Difficulty tracking revenue due to inaccurate invoices
    §  Inability to build strong customer relationships


    UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS OF GOOD INFORMATION

    ·         High quality information can significantly improve the chances of making a good decision
    ·         Good decisions can directly impact an organization’s bottom line