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DEVELOPING A BUSINESS MINDSET – OBJECTIVE 4 – EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF THE SIX MAJOR FUNCTIONAL AREAS IN A BUSINESS ENTERPRISE

Research and Development
Products are conceived and designed through research and development (R&D), sometimes known as product design or engineering.
– Not all companies have an R&D functions
– Many companies simply resell products that other firms make.
E.g. For companies that develop products, R&D is essential to their survival because it provides the ideas and designs that allow these firms to meet customer needs in competitive markets.
-Companies can also engage in process R&D to design new and better ways to run their operations. Much of this effort goes into information technology (IT) systems that promote communication and information usage through the company of allow companies to offer new services to their customers.
((Information Technology (IT)))
Systems that promote communication and information usage through the company or that allow companies to offer new services to their customers.
Manufacturing, Production and Operations
This function concerns whatever the company makes (for goods-producing businesses) or whatever it does (for service businesses).
– In addition to supervising the actual production activity, operations managers are responsible for a wide range of other strategies and decisions, including purchasing (arranging to buy the necessary materials for manufacturing), logistics (coordinating the incoming flow of materials and the outgoing flow of finished products), and facilities management (everything from planning new buildings to maintain them).
Marketing, Sales, Distribution and Customer Support
– Marketing is charged with identifying opportunities in the marketplace, working with R&D to develop the products to address those opportunities, creating branding and advertising strategies to communicate with potential customers, and setting prices.
– The sales function develops relationships with potential customers and persuades customers, transaction by transaction, to buy the company’s goods and services.
– Depending on the type of product, a distribution function can be involved both before the sale (helping to promote products to retailers, for example) and after the sale (to physically deliver products).
– After products are in buyers’ hands, customer support goes to work, making sure customers have the support and information they need.
Finance and Accounting
The finance and accounting functions ensure that the company has the funds it needs to operate, monitor, and control how those funds are spent and draft reports for company management and outside audiences such as investors and government regulators.
– Financial managers are responsible for planning
– Accounting managers are responsible for monitoring and reporting.
-Accounting specialists work closely with other functional areas to ensure profitable decision making.
Human Resources
The human resources function is responsible for recruiting, hiring, developing, and supporting employees.
HR supports all other functional areas in the enterprise.
HR usually oversees these process and supports the other departments as needed.
The HR department is also charged with making sure the company is in compliance with the many laws concerning employee rights and workplace safety.
Business Services
Business services exist to help companies with specific needs in law, banking, real estate, and other areas.
These services can be performed by in-house staff, external firms, or a combination of the two.

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