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Managing and Using Information System by Carol S. Saunders, Keri E. Pearlson

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INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR MANAGING BUSINESS PROCESSES

Business processes, the cross-functional sets of activities that turn inputs into outputs, are at the heart of how businesses operate. In this chapter, business processes and the systems that support them are discussed. The chapter begins with a discussion of a functional versus process perspective of a firm, including agile and dynamic business processes. The chapter then focuses on the way managers change business processes, including incremental and radical approaches. Information systems (IS) that support and automate business processes follow, including workflow and business process management systems and enterprise systems. The chapter concludes by examining when IS drive business transformations and the complexities that arise from integrating systems between companies.

Business strategy at Sloan Valve Company,1 a family-owned global manufacturer of plumbing products, had executives launching a range of new products every year. The new product development (NPD) process was both a core process and a strategic asset. But the process was complex, with over 16 functional units involved, and slow, taking 18–24 months to bring a new product to market. Sloan Valve's process of initiating and screening new product ideas was broken. More than 50% of the ideas that began the process didn't make it through, resulting in wasted ...

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