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Hitachi has applied object-oriented and groupware technologies to the development of a purchasing system aimed at small- and medium-sized business operations, as one component in the trend toward use of client/server systems (CSSs) for mission-critical operations. The main purpose of this development is to shorten the purchasing cycle and save labor in purchasing operations. To form this system, business process re-engineering (BPR) is applied and, at the same time, a semi-automatic system based on workflow management tools is constructed.
Flexibility for responding to business changes is also required in the new purchasing system. Object- oriented technology has been adopted as a means of developing this. It has been possible to construct a flexible system that can follow business changes by representing business operations as a combination of independent objects which model the business process.