Computers, electronics, communication, and audio-video technologies have converged closely to produce a new style of operating business. The dynamic business environment of today is full of challenges and opportunities. The dependence on the information and driving energy source is increasing. Every business has an additional dimension which is, speed and time. The business needs of today are beyond transaction processing. It requires an instant real-time response in every case, wherever it occurs.
The word enterprise is chosen to convey that it compasses the larger business community covering all the players and their participation in the business. The system is extended beyond the corporate boundaries. In such a situation, the system which we are designing is an enterprise-wide. It must catch an event interpret it and trigger the action, and communicate it across to the enterprise. Since business is information hungry, it must have an ability to sense the situation and act accordingly. When the business requires online information to make informed knowledge-based decisions and has them executed in the business operations in a coordinated manner, it has to take the support of many other systems.
Take a simple example of employee management where the arrival of the persons or their absence raises a number of triggers in the organization. The well-known attendance recording system monitors the employee movement from all angles- availability, assigning, security, permission and salary and wages.
In the business today, the demand is a paperless operation, wireless communication of a result of fully transparent and automated operations at all centers in an integrated and coordinated manner taking care of the business, actions and decision needs. To support such demands of the business, systems of information processing and communication are needed. These systems may be automated or mechanized interfaced with the other systems for data communication and processing. There could also be audio, video and imaging systems to bring realism in information and remote sensing system for security and communication.
Though the tools, the technologies, and the well-designed solution and systems are available to support all such needs of the business, what is needed is an integrated solution out of these technologies and the systems offering enterprise-wide management support such integrated solutions is called as the Enterprise Management System (EMS). Following are the systems, which, when implemented in an integrated manner for the coordinated and cooperative function of the business, give rise to the Enterprise Management System:
- ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning Systems.
- EDI: Electronic Data Interchange System for commerce, communication, and action.
- CAD/CAM/CAE: Computer Aided Design/Manufacturing/Engineering System for production management.
- AMS: Attendance Management System; that is, employee attendance and presence management for the role management or data capture systems on floors, in stores, at gates, etc.
- DMS: Document Management System, which is, imaging, copying and text management and dispatching document, DBMS.
- CMS: Communication Management Systems, such as paying, cordless, mobile, telephone systems, and audio-video system.
- SMS: Security Management Systems such as the closed-circuit television, alarm or warning systems, movement tracking system, etc.
In the EMS, the ERP system plays the role of a front running system. The major decision making and execution takes place through the ERP. It is a system of managing all functions of the business with information support coming through the ERP. It handles the operational system to run the business and provides the required inputs to planning and control systems handled by the middle management. With the internal sources of information and the use of information from the external sources, it provides decision support information for strategic planning and control to the top management.
The ERP is supported by various other support systems which manage, independently, the specific requirement and simultaneously provide inputs to the ERP. The ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE (EDI) system assists the ERP in correcting two systems electronically for example, documents transfer, data transfer, etc. it is designed to handle to commercial functions of the business popularly known as the electronic commerce. It also acts as a gateway to interact with the vendor, the customer, and the other associated institutions of the organizations.
The CAD/CAM/CAE, i.e. the Computer Aided Design/Manufacturing/Engineering systems is the systems which handle design, manufacturing and engineering functions. It will provide the drawings and design engineering information to the ERP in its execution of manufacturing, purchase and inspection functions. They have also equipped with the database management functions and their database acts backup support to the ERP.
The AMS, i.e. Attendance Management System, keeps track of the employee related information for personnel planning, availability, and scheduling. It provides static information about an employee through the human resources management system and the current dynamic information such as his or her presence, shifts rotation, the kind of job handled the cost and so on.
The DMS, i.e., Document Management Systems designed to keep important documents in the database for viewing, sending messages and for documenting support in the transactions handled. The system provides text edit facility for document manipulation for the purpose of transaction handling. In the ERP it is used for cross-checking the key information and also to confirm the validity of the transaction. It handles the document access, editing, copying, and mixing the information and sending the information to the various destinations for execution. It uses scanning, imaging, workflow automation, and document database management system.
The CMS on the Communication Management Systems are used for tracking the important resource for action. These resources are located, altered and advised to act from the location where they are. Their attention is drawn to the event and advised to act to handle the situation. The ERP uses the CMS as a tool, for all the communication needs of recording an event.
The SMS, i.e. the Security Management System handle the security, entry access requirement of the business operations. It may be a person, a vehicle or material, its movement, availability, and access is tracked, monitored and guarded for security and safety. It provides support of the ERP by clearing the situation to act further. A truck will not be allowed to enter unless it is an authorized one, and then it will be weighted and its weight will be transferred to the ERP for processing further information. An employee’s movement can be restricted or prohibited to select areas before his time is recorded and sent to the ERP for further processing.
These six systems together act as the support system to the ERP, all these systems are extensively used for the main purpose for which they are installed. Each one of them has a specific technology to handle the function and are equipped to capture, store, process and transfer the data to the ERP. Each of these systems operates on their native system and is integrated to the ERP through the gateway by using specific software. These systems are a part and parcel of the ERP system network.
The EMS, therefore, can be defined as a network system comprising the ERP, the EDI, the CAD/CAM/CAE, the CMS, the SMS, and the DMS.