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How To Streamline Ops with your ERP Software 

In the business world you are sure to come across great influxes of information that can seem almost daunting to concur because there is so much to sift through and organize. Some of the most prevalent information that can become alarming is the kind that relates to customers, orders, and receiving payments, and without a structured data system it may be easy to lose track of this valuable information. There are methods to help wheel in the information you have and manipulate into an organized and easy arrangement, which are called enterprise information systems.

Enterprise information systems are not as complex as they sound but are extremely beneficial to a business and its transactions because it takes all of the guessingŁ work out of organizing important information and correlating it to relevance in specific situations. The systems work by a process of flowsŁ, each one helping further classify information and depict its significance for the entity. 

In this article we will explore the four types of flows that help categorize and regulate information within an enterprise information system.

Business Process Flow

The first flow of the process is called the physical flow and it represents the physical activities that are involved with the business transaction taking place, including information such as dates, locations, quantities, and addresses. This flow is important because it is the initial nesting ground for information to come into an entity and continually be sifted through until it finds its ending home. The information that feeds through this flow is often modified and changed in order to adapt to demands, an example of a change of information that would affect the physical flow aspect of the systems process would be the changing of an order shipment address to a new location.

The Paper Chase

From the physical flow the information gathered is sorted and distributed into the categories of data and document flow. These flows deal with the actual data and documents that are required to complete transactions an entity obtains, and they take the job of the physical flow a step further. Data and document flows retrieve the information an entity needs in order to track its services, this information includes purchase orders, invoices, and account numbers. This flow is a vital component of the overall systems process because it is updated to show the completion of the steps associated with a transaction for the entity. Documents accompany a transaction each step of the way from the beginning purchase order to the final billing notice and it is critical to have this information as up to date as possible and accessible in order to account for changes or modifications within the transaction process that may occur.

The Business Data Stream

The final flow that is connected to an enterprise information system is the information flow. In this flow all of the information that is accumulated in the physical, data, and document flows is routed and correlated to become meaningful and useful in all aspects of the process. The information gathered is stored so that it can be used, manipulated, adjusted, or any other form of modification by the entity. Some examples of what information from this flow is used for are sales reports, production reports, and summaries of customer orders that were fulfilled. This final destination is the home for all of the data within an entity that allows it to conduct services; it is the brain of the enterprise information system and gives it life to run effectively.

Currently in my place of work we have a system in place that tracks incoming student information. When a student inquires about a program there information is placed into a physical flow where any information we need in order to contact them is retrieved. As the student progresses through an acceptance to the program process their information runs into the data and document flows which allow us to gather personal information and documents, such as teaching certificates, transcripts, and recommendations. 

Finally, once a student has been accepted into a program their information is stored in an information flow component that allows any individual within the entity to access the students file and information; within this aspect the information can also be updated and modified. Without a system like this in place at my place of work it would be impossible to track all of the information for inquiring students, and it would be very hard to keep track of changes made to their files, such as phone number or address changes. The fact that a student's file is stored in its entirety within the system is also incredibly beneficial because it leaves very little room for human error.

Enterprise information systems are crucial in today's business environment because not only do they help eliminate stress and error but they also provide a proficient and easy way to manage vital information for an entity. It is almost impossible to go into an establishment in today's market that does not have some form of an enterprise information system in place. Knowledge of these systems is relevant because it gives one an understanding to the background of how the system works and what it is suppose to accomplish, it also is necessary to understand the system in order to know how to manipulate information within one if needed. 

By: Cecily Musso-Britton 

TEKOA ERP Software 

Web Portal Software

More Resources 

Sage 100 EDI Integration | TEKOA Integrator 
Three Principles of Healthy Inventory Management  
Cloud or On Prem ERP Making The Choice 
Good Accounting Procedures for Accounts Payable 
Mobile Point of Sale for Sage 100 

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