The marketing and sales (M/S) process is an interacting structure of people, equipment, methods, and controls designed to achieve certain goals. The primary function of the M/S process is to support:
- Repetitive work routines of the sales order department, the credit department, the warehouse, and the shipping department.1
- Decision needs of those who manage various sales and marketing functions.
- Information flows and recorded data in support of the operations and management processes.
Let’s examine each of these functions. First, the M/S process supports the repetitive work routines of the sales order, credit, and shipping departments by capturing and recording sales-related data. As but one example, a sales order form or screen often supports the repetitive work routines of the sales order department by capturing vital customer and order data, by facilitating the process of granting credit to customers, and by helping to ensure the timely shipment of goods to customers. To further illustrate this point, we can consider that a copy of the sales order (whether paper or electronic in physical existence) may serve as a communications medium to inform workers in the warehouse that certain goods need to be picked and transported to the shipping department.
Second, the M/S process supports the decision needs of various sales and marketing managers. Third, in addition to these managers, any number of people within a given organization may benefit from information flows generated by the M/S process. This information is critical to succeeding in a highly competitive economy.