The article analyses the use of management information systems to administer automotive marketing through the use of mail. As the automotive industry continues to grow globally, there is a need to spur growth in marketing and sales through mail, in order to manage consumers and prospects. The authors of this article explore how customer relationship management through direct mail marketing a segment of management information systems is used in automotive industry to manage customer relations. Automotive companies, such as General Motors and Ford have succeeded in the implementation of global access to their information systems through internet. Direct marketing through the use of mail promotes customer relationship management, further ensuring that manufacturer and dealer relationships remain strong.

E-mails promote sales in the automotive industry because international dealers are able to access main database, thus promoting better sales coverage. The use of e-mail technologies results to more productive sales and enterprise-wide involvement in sales, resulting in a more highly motivated sales force. The article ascertains that management information systems ensure that buyer abrasion is observed, with drifted customers being preserved in the mail database until a fresh purchasing prospect is identified. The article highlights that after customers have made contact, their data is passed to a dealer for follow-up, and also, in some cases, the manufactures themselves follow up to identify whether the customer is still interested. This follow-up is done by mail and the sales personnel can access to the automotives companys customer database and check whether customer details are correct.

The article further indicates that the automotive industry requires the application of the customer value management approach. This is because a lot of what occurs in the industry today is done because it suits the manufacturers or dealers; so little is done because it suits the customer. The authors noted that mail promotes sales cycle in the automotive industry by building awareness, identifying prospects and carrying out follow-up mailing. E-mail technologies ensure sales automation, thus enabling automotive companies to better organize, manage and compensate the sales force, together with forecast sales based on more timely and accurate information.

In conclusion, the article indicates the main automotive marketing and service processes required at each stage of the relationship cycle, and suggests the type of business question that needs to be resolved at each stage. The article also outlines that promoting sales cycle through mail has created the need for a change in the role played by sales function. The customer focus that automotive companies have adopted has created changes in the evaluation of what value the sales force provides today. The article, therefore, explores the role of management information systems in leveraging lifetime value for customer relationship and enhancement of quality customer service and interaction through mail technologies.

Article 2

The power of supply chain management in the automotive industry has an influence on negotiations, as well as profitability for all participants in the value chain. The article highlights that supply chain management in the automotive industry should start from the purchase of raw materials until the final product is delivered to the customers. The primary purpose of supply chain management is to create value for customers, while reducing costs for manufactures.

The article outlines that supply chain management systems have a significant role to play in automotive companies because the selection of the appropriate production system can directly affect the strategic capability of a company. In the automotive industry, supply chain management enables a dispersed production, build-to-order or postponement production systems, allow a strategic orientation of speed and flexibility. The authors further noted that supply chain management in automotive industry focuses on volume cost and efficiency to be successful. They, therefore, noted that developing a supply chain production system in the automotive industry leads to greater opportunities for lower costs, improved customer value and differential advantage in the future.

The authors of the article conducted an applied research to determine the practical application and overall effect of supply chain management in the automotive industry. The research indicated that supply chain management promotes close partnership relations with the first tier suppliers and other strategic partners in the distribution channel. The system helps to reduce time spent on information lookup and manual information transcription. With the supply chain management system, dealerships know exactly where their products are located and how long it will take for them to arrive. The system also informs the dealership of what is in stock and what they need to re-order.

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The article also outlines that supply chain management in the automotive industry is interlinked with logistics, operations management, strategic management, marketing, industrial organization, information technology and production management. The authors noted that supply chain management integrates the strategic goals of production which include process flexibility, productivity and efficiency. This type of management information system according to the authors provides the production and customers with products, low logistics costs and a high logistic service level.

The article articulates that the use of supply chain management in the automotive industry promotes a product that is collaborative and timely developed through increased level of communication between suppliers, functional departments and customers. Through the use of supply chain management, the automotive industry can experience a decrease in channel inventory and product obsolescence, owing to closer linkage across the supply chain and improved insights into signals of demand to drive products schedule and achieve build-to-order capability. The authors also indicated that supply chain management systems helps automotive companies in building channel ability to reach out to different customer segments and keep developing its current market.

Article 3


The article defines an expert system as a computer program that employs human knowledge to solve problems normally, requiring human expertise. Mobile vehicle expert systems play an important role in the automotive industry in the identification of faults and diagnosis. As the development of vehicles adopts new technologies, the complexity of new motor vehicles requires experts to diagnose and identify faults in these new models of vehicles. The authors noted that lack of technical knowledge and trouble shooting skills of vehicles necessitates the importance of the expert systems which are able carry out diagnoses and enable owners to repair their vehicles on their own.

The article indicates that the major benefit of expert systems technology in automotive industry is the consistent, uniform and efficient application of the decision criteria or problem solving strategies. As part of the management information systems used in the automotive industry, mobile vehicle expert system helps in the diagnosis of faults in electronic engine control system. This is achieved through a set of rules that are similar to diagnostic charts. The authors noted that the diagnostic system receives data from the electronic control system, for example via the ALDL connector or through keyboard entry by the mechanic. The mobile expert system processes these data logically under program control in accordance with the set of internally stored rules. The end result, according to the article, is an assessment of the problem and recommended repair procedures.

The article highlights that the use of expert system in vehicle diagnosis significantly improves the efficiency of the diagnostic process and can thereby reduce maintenance time and costs. The system provides potent and bendable means for attaining solutions to a range of troubles that often cannot be compacted through other methods. In the automotive industry, expert systems are applicable because the procedures used by the recognized experts can be expressed in a set of rules or logical relationships. The diagnostic charts that outline repair procedures serve as helpful guidelines.

In addition, the article further explains that when an expert system requests the mechanic to perform a particular task, the mechanic in return as the expert system can ask a question. The expert system then explains the motivation for the task, much the way a human expert would do it if he or she were guiding the mechanic. It is important to note that an expert system is formulated on rules of thumb that have been acquired through years of experience by human experts. The article further outlines that from time to time, automotive maintenance problems that are outside the scope of the expertise incorporated in the expert systems will occur. The authors thus say that the development of expert systems is heading in the direction of fully automated, rapid and efficient diagnosis of problems in vehicles equipped with modern digital control systems.

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