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A component framework for re-usable business components

: Bullinger, H.-J.; Fähnrich, K.-P.; Stender, M.

Hanus, D.:
ICPR 2001, 16th International Conference on Production Research. CD-ROM : 29 July - 3 August 2001, Prague, Czech Republic
Prag, 2001
ISBN: 80-02-01438-3
Kap. P 077, 13 S.
International Conference on Production Research (ICPR) <16, 2001, Prag>
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Global competition and shortening product life-cycles induce the need for short process lead-times. Lead-time improvements require to streamline communication from the customer to the production organisation. E-business solutions are an example for this approach. Integrated software solutions are needed to achieve this. As current ERP systems have deficits in supporting these requirements, so called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions aim to close the gap. Empirical evidence suggests that current adoption of CRM software in the producing industries is low compared to other industries. Especially small and medium sized enterprises (SME) are behind in applying CRM systems. A need for cost efficient approaches to developing CRM systems for goods producing SMEs exists. Component based software engineering (CBSE) is a promising approach to address these requirements. Component frameworks are a concept of CBSE for semi-finished software architectures, which are customised to the specific requirements through the insertion and/or modification of software components.
This paper presents a component-framework for CRM applications with re-usable business components. The component-framework has been developed and evaluated at four SMEs. Results from the evaluation have proven the viability of the technical concept and of the functionalities defined. The evaluation revealed aspects of component software installation and versioning as a main technical obstacle to further industry adoption, especially at micro-enterprises (1-9 employees). Application of the CRM Systems in the field has shown, that to achieve the most benefit from a CRM system, all employees across all departments (development, production, sales) with customer contact should have access to the information. By using CRM systems in such a crossfunctional way, CRM systems integrated with ERP systems can provide competitive advantages for producing SMEs.