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Integrated Enterprise Management (IEM) is about making a positive difference in the achievements of the enterprise. IEM concepts show practitioners how to develop the capa­bility and motivation to go beyond their own expectations. Application of these concepts makes organizations more competitive. This paper briefly describes the perspectives of the IEM model that are the common factors in effective integrated enterprise management. Specific topics include:

• Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM)
• Six Perspectives of Functioning Within the Enterprise
• Why Is This Important and Why Now?
• The Benefits of IEM

The power of the APICS model is the six perspectives that focus on the flow and work of the individual. Today, many universities and other organizations are searching for approaches to improve organizational performance through better definition of the interdependencies between func­tions within the organization. The IEM concept offers greater benefits to individuals and their organizations because it builds the capabilities and self-confidence of individuals so they may contribute to greater achievement by the enterprise. Focusing on the role and the work of the individual overcomes the complexity and impossible task of defining all the functional interrelationships within organizations. The IEM model also directs the individual to consider the changing position of the enterprise in its environment.

The model begins from the assumption that the practitio­ner is an above average performer with the potential to take on greater responsibilities. To qualify for the IEM exam a candidate must have passed tests in the four other CIRM modules. (The CIRM program is described below.) This is a major difference from other integrated resource programs that start with a deficit model of multifunctional performance and attempt to define the interrelationships between each of the functions in the enterprise. The IEM concept is one of building upon current capabilities rather than overcoming deficits in performance.

Complex problems require simple solutions. Einstein is credited with the thought that we can never solve problems by thinking at the same level that caused them. Global competition, lightening fast communication, instant and continuous news coverage and intense economic pressure, immediate access to knowledge bases never before envi­sioned all over load our cognitive abilities. Operating in this environment requires a paradigm shift.
To remain competitive in this new environment, manufac­turing companies need employees who have a broader knowledge of business and the complex issues that they face. Recognizing this need, APICS developed an educa­tional and testing program known as Certified in Inte­grated Resource Management (CIRM). The CIRM program is organized into five modules, the first four of which address the thirteen critical functions performed within a manufacturing company.

The fifth module, IEM, shows how individuals can perform at a higher level by breaking down the constraints to enterprise success created by the traditional functional view of the role of the individual. IEM challenges the individual to view both the needs of the enterprise and their personal role in the success of the enterprise from six different perspectives. These six perspectives are a way of thinking and working that go beyond a fixed body of knowledge. The six perspectives create a context for individu­als to apply the knowledge of the first four modules.
Six Perspectives of Functioning Within the Enterprise
Individuals working in organizations are often faced with complex issues in which no single correct answer is appar­ent. Addressing such issues requires skill in understand­ing the essential elements of a situation. Since no single perspective is best for all situations, successful individuals are able to view issues from different perspectives and identify the strengths and weaknesses of various alterna­tive approaches. IEM provides the framework for individu­als in which to operate when faced with such issues. The unit of analysis for this framework is the individual, not the function or the enterprise. The framework is presented from six different perspectives. These are: 1) the indi­vidual, 2) the team, 3) the function, 4) the enterprise, 5) the enterprise in the environment, and 6) the enterprise through time. Each of these six perspectives is discussed below.

To be Continued


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