A business organisation often includes functional areas such as administration, human resource, finance, MIS (management information systems), production, marketing, sales and purchasing. An enterprise function is a group of activities and processes put in place to support a specific part of the mission of the enterprise, and each activity or process is usually supported by a set of procedures.
Be warned that enterprise functions may appear to be the basic building blocks of a business enterprise, yet the business structure may not be based upon them. Is a city’s commerce based upon the number of buildings that can fit into its grid of roadways?
Obviously not, yet the roadways permit many of the exchanges that commerce depends upon. In the same way, enterprise functions must be performed, no matter how the business organisation is structured. The focus should be on what is done by the functions rather than how or where it is done. In this section, you will become familiar with looking at a business in this way by reviewing an outline of what is meant by the functions grouped under the different headings of marketing, human resource, finance, management information systems, production and purchasing.
- 1. Marketing is a functional area that takes care of marketing research to identify and determine what products and services customers want. The marketing department must therefore act in close liaison with the production department. It starts, plans and follows through with new products and services. This is supported by advertising and promotional programmes working together with advertising and public relations agencies and the media. Marketing specialists are employed in an increasing number of public enterprises. In government, research and evaluation projects, often by independent contractors, provide a similar perspective.
- Human resource is a functional area that provides services in support of the following enterprise functions: recruitment, selection, training, appraisal and promotion of staff. It also administers staff records, payment and reward systems, and fringe benefits and makes sure that the work practices stay within the limits laid down by law. This department defines and revises job specifications and, when needed, hires new staff. Human resource departments in medium and small organisations often perform the
administration function, but administration could be a separate department in large organisations. That function is responsible for all support services that include clerical, typing, filing, maintenance of the office accommodation, transportation, reception, telephone, telex, facsimile and communications systems, collection and delivery of documents, security, advertising and other activities that are necessary for ensuring the smooth running of the organisation. In certain organisations, administration may have to deal with all relevant legal matters, MIS, purchasing, insurance and share registrations.