It has been said that running a business without using computers is like trying to breathe without lungs. While this analogy may be a little extreme, the undeniable fact is that computers are utilized in some form or another in just about every aspect of modern-day business.
Computers are used in areas such as production, research, banking, data storage, and accounting, through to inventory, distribution, business automation, marketing, sales analysis, and management of employees.
Companies use computers to keep track of inventory levels, orders, sales, and deliveries. Computers also help in stock control by alerting when a particular product is low in stock and by assisting in ordering more of that stock. This means that companies can determine how much inventory to carry and how to manage their supply chain more efficiently.
Computers are used for inventory management throughout the retail industry. Even the smallest retail businesses are now using computers and specialized inventory management systems (IMS) to organize inventory data.
Point of sale (POS) systems
A POS system is essential for the efficient running of any retail business. In the case of a physical retail store, a POS system will indicate each item’s price, calculate the total price, update the inventory count, enable payment, and issue a receipt. The entire POS system is digital, and it enables retailers to monitor and regulate stock supplies and to accept and record customer payments officially.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Computers have also redefined customer relations. Using specially designed software, business owners can now generate invaluable data about their customer base. This data is then used to develop a better understanding of the customer base. This, in turn, can lead to better customer relations, a higher customer retention rate, and increased future sales.
Accounting information systems (AIS)
All accounting information systems are designed to provide the collection, storage, and processing of financial and accounting data. An AIS can give information in the areas of auditing, financial accounting, financial reporting, managerial accounting, and taxes. The end result produced by an AIS is financial reports that are used by internal management, by investors, by creditors, and by tax authorities.
Banks and the financial industry
Computers are integrated into the financial industry at just about every level. Everything is computerized, from the international transfer of funds and stock exchange trading through digital currency, bank loans, and ATM withdrawals. For example, the entire process of trading stocks and options is often done by computers using advanced algorithms, and without human involvement. Even on the simplest level of banking such as making a withdrawal, computers are utilized. Withdrawal transactions, whether made over the counter or through an ATM, all involve the use of a computer.
Manufacturing and Industrial
The majority of manufacturers are now using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to control their production process. By using computers to control the production process, manufacturers have increased the production, the speed of production, and product quality. In today’s manufacturing environment, the use of computers is not confined to the physical manufacturing process. They are also used in planning, scheduling, designing, distribution, data analysis processing, and marketing.
Industrial manufacturing is also heavily reliant on computers. In industrial factories, computers are used to monitor and control the entire production process. This means that the computer must have a large memory capacity, and it must be durable enough to withstand a wide range of adverse conditions. Enter the sturdy rugged computer.
Rugged computers are specifically designed to operate reliably, even under adverse conditions. For example, computers will be exposed to strong vibrations, temperature extremes, moisture, and dust when operating within an industrial setting. Rugged computers are specifically built to withstand these types of conditions while continuing to operate seamlessly.
The strength and durability of rugged computers are built into the external housing, internal components, and cooling arrangements. This makes the rugged computer an invaluable tool in adverse environments, and you will typically find them in areas where adverse conditions apply. These include public safety, field sales, field service, manufacturing, retail, construction, transportation, the military, and outer space.
The role of computers has increased and expanded in nearly all aspects of business and industry, as well as nearly all aspects of our lives. As the global population has expanded, so has the demand for products. To meet this product demand, companies have turned toward computers to make their production process quicker, more efficient, and less expensive. This has been the case across the entire spectrum of business, manufacturing, and even in our daily lives.