The increased internet usage and the great technological strides made have resulted in a shift in the way customers purchase their goods. The systematic progress of information has resulted to exponential growth in the number of online shoppers (Ekweueme, A., and Akoji, N., 2017, 1). To cater for this demand for goods, online shops (E-commerce) have sprung all over the world, leading the charge being Amazon.
Amazon.com, Inc., popularly known as Amazon, is American commerce and cloud computing company. It is to be the largest Internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization that has been serving worldwide from last two decades (Panta, K.R. and Sharma, R., 2017, 1).
Amazon information system
All businesses deal with large volumes of information from suppliers, employees, customers, manufacturers and the government. As such, they must organize themselves in such a way that they will use this information to operate effectively and efficiently. It is of great importance that businesses adopt effective Information System to make execution of its activities easier ((Shipsey, R. 2010, 18). Amazon used a website system and order fulfillment separately having security in mind. In the year 2000, the company renovated its system. The system includes analysis software from Epiphany, logistics from Manugistics and a new DBMS from oracle (Imran, A., 2014, 1).
For communication with its suppliers, Amazon agreed with Excelon for business-to-business integration system. Amazon developed Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Simple Service (SS) as its main system (Imran, A., 2014, 1). Through this system, the company can maintain the high bulk of traffic efficiently and ensure its millions of customers are satisfied.
Amazon uses ERP to integrate key business processes into a single system enabling managers to assemble and view the operations. The ERP contains the database where all customers' information is stored. The customers' ordering process is automatic. After a customer places an order, the system finds the nearest distributing center for delivery instructions. The system fast tracks the order fulfillment process and greatly reduces the number of wrong shipments (Panta, K.R., 2017, 10).
To track fraudsters, Amazon has an inbuilt system known as SAS (Smart Analysis Search). This system detects fraud in the website by analyzing behavioral patterns, and thus decreases it. SAS also allows amazon to measure and personalize its customer experience (Imran, A., 2014, 4).
Amazon uses the CRM system to gain customer satisfaction and loyalty. Amazon has an extensive implementation of customer relationship management. The first step is usually with the customer opening an Amazon account. The company also has its own website, amazon.com, where it does its customer selection. Customer selection is done by studying the data collected using stored in the ERP. Afterwards, the company, using the CRM system collects consumer information such as credit card record, transaction record, order record, and also profiles their past purchase history. The order processing system deals with the transactions record with secured transaction method and instructs the delivery system on shipment details. (Panta, K.R., 2017, 10).
Amazon clients are internet and kindle users. Generally, every buyer in amazon must have a profile in Amazon mobile applications kindle devices, and website. Through the account, amazon is aware of each particular customer's tastes, disposable income, and their personality.
Amazon acquisition, retention, and extension of customers is made easier by having an excellent information system. When customers add favorite items to the wish list, that information is stored in the ERP system. This helps amazon to know the customer better. Product review, enabled by CRM, not only helps new customers to find and choose products, but also acts as market pointers for Amazon. The information system helps the company to make connection between the customer, communicating, and viewing the products of their interest. In the first 3 month of 2000, Amazon reportedly acquired 3 million new customers without any investment. To satisfy its customers, amazon uses information acquired through customer account, wish list etc. (Panta, K.R., 2017, 12).
Information System Support and Management
Information system can be defined as a set of related and connected software and hardware components that are used to collect or retrieve, then process and store, and finally to distribute, information (Shipsey, R. 2010, 6). This information is used to support decision-making processes and provide controls on the business process an organization embark on. Today, many companies run their operations online, including Amazon, our case study. Digital companies like Amazon need to have not only good planning and good products, but also excellent revenue and business models.
Information system support incorporates suppliers of hardware and software, the business firms making the investment and the managers and employees seeking to achieve business value (Shipsey, R. 2010, 13). The information system support answers questions on the integration of a new information system, how to design an appropriate information system, and how the installed information system is managed.
Information systems consist of management, technology and organizational dimensions (Shipsey, R. 2010, 8). Management can be understood to be 'formulating action plans to solve business problems and ensuring that these plans are executed in an efficient and effective manner' (Shipsey, R. 2010, 10). The role of management is to perceive business challenges and to set the organizational strategy for meeting these challenges. Managers must also allocate resources and co-ordinate work. A major component of management is leadership. This leadership not only extends to managing what already exists, but also taking the lead in creating new products and services. Managers must be creative, knowledgeable, and flexible. Information systems can play a key role in helping managers meet these objectives.
Managers must be continually reviewing and adapting the way their companies uses technology in order to keep up pace with the fast-paced changes in the technological part of information system. As such, it is important for the company to keep giving their employees refresher courses.
It is also very important that the company ensure it keeps sight of its business objectives as it embraces technology. Failure to align IT initiatives with business goals will lead to the organization being inefficient and making losses. Managers need to be clear that they have fully understood the structure of the industry that their company is operating in, analyzed the business value chain for their company, and aligned IT in the company with the business strategies and goals of the company. Managers also need to remember that there is more to information systems than technology - at the heart of every organization are people and without their co-operation and understanding information, systems will not be effective (Shipsey, R. 2010,41).
Information system in E-commerce
As mentioned earlier, information system makes it possible for businesses to operate in a virtual (digital) form. Businesses that incorporate this form of business includes advertising agencies, marketing, customer support, payment services, and delivery services (Shipsey, R. 2010, 27).
E-commerce needs a sound information system to be efficient in its order processing, receiving payments, and shipments while protecting the privacy of the consumers. When a customer makes an order, there need a system to generate the order, submit the order, check and approve the credit/ generate invoice, assemble the product and arrange for its shipments. In such a case, the organization will need different types of software and support in order to fulfill that order which covers several business areas (Shipsey, R. 2010, 19).
Processing systems provide content to managementinformation systems and decision support systems. Both of these systems then provide information to executive support systems that are used by senior management. Sometimes management information systems provide information directly to decision support systems. In order to ensure a coherent sharing of information, enterprise applications are used (Shipsey, R. 2010, 23).
Enterprise application consists of enterprise system, supply chain system, customer relationship management systems, and knowledge management systems. Enterprise systems are used to bridge the communication gap between the departments in a company. They do this by collecting data from the key departments such as sales and marketing, manufacturing and production, finance and accounting and human resources, and then storing this data centrally in a single software system (Shipsey, R. 2010, 23). An enterprise system automatically informs other departments of information that will have an impact on them.
Supply chain system helps a company to manage its relationship with the suppliers. Properly managing this system ensures that the goods and services get to the customer in timely manner and in a cost effective way.
Customer relationship management systems enable companies to maintain good relationships with their customers. A customer relationship management system should provide end-to-end customer care from the moment the customer places an order until the product is delivered. Lastly, we have the knowledge management system. It enables companies to enhance their management of the capture and application of knowledge and expertise. They promote the creation of knowledge and its integration into the company. Knowledge workers might be research scientists or engineers who discover a new method of production or packaging, or lawyers who can answer questions regarding product names, copyright and patenting (Shipsey, R. 2010, 25).
Knowledge development and management
As mentioned earlier in the paper, information system has a segment known as the knowledge management. Knowledge is the justified personal belief (King, W.R. 2009, 3). Knowledge management is the planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling of people, processes and systems in an organization to ensure that its knowledge-related assets are improved and effectively utilized (King, W.R. 2009, 4).
The processes of knowledge management involves acquisition, creation, refinement, storage, transfer, sharing, and utilization (King, W.R. 2009, 4). It is usually an organizational effort on what managers can do to enable knowledge management goals to be achieved. How they can motivate individuals to participate in achieving them and how they can create social processes that will facilitate knowledge management success. Knowledge management processes are quite people-intensive, and less technology-intensive. A modern knowledge-enabled enterprise (Knowledge Management System- KMS), however, must support knowledge management with appropriate information and communications technology (King, W.R. 2009, 5).
Knowledge development involves support organizational processes involving innovation, individual learning, collective learning and collaborative decision-making. The expected outcome of knowledge development and management is improved organizational behaviors, decisions, products, services, processes and relationships that enable the organization to improve its overall performance (King, W.R. 2009, 11).
Panta, K.R, And Sharma, R., 2017. Case Study of E-Commerce On amazon.com. Lumbini ICT College
Shipsey, R. 2010. Information systems: Foundations of e-business Volume 1. University of London.
King, W.R. 2009. Knowledge...
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