Corporate Functions & Consulting


Core Business Processes

Strategic management.  Those activities carried out at the highest managerial levels. Included are the formation, implementation, and evaluation of cross-functional decisions that enable the organization to achieve long-term objectives. Among such operations are the following:

  • Coordinating activities
  • Setting product strategy
  • Identifying new investments, acquisitions, and divestments


Procurement, logistics, and distribution.  Those activities associated with obtaining and storing inputs and with storing and transporting finished products to customers:

  • Buying
  • Distributing
  • Loading
  • Packing
  • Shipping
  • Receiving
  • Transporting
  • Warehousing


Operations.  Those activities which transform inputs into final outputs, either goods or services.  In most cases, business functions categorized as operations will equate with the industry code of the establishment or the activity most directly associated with that code.  The specific function—the production of a good or the provision of a service—will relate to the specific industry. Operations activities are as follows:

  • Assembling products
  • Producing goods
  • Providing services
  • Fabricating components
  • Managing production
  • Managing services
  • Conducting quality assurance or quality control


Product or service development. Activities such as the following, associated with bringing a new, improved, or redesigned product or service to market (many of these activities are research, marketing analysis, design, and engineering activities):

  • Developing business plans  
  • Analyzing markets
  • Designing products or services
  • Developing products or services
  • Researching products or services
  • Testing


Marketing, sales, and customer accounts.  Activities aimed at informing existing or potential buyers (many of these activities are promotion, advertising, telemarketing, selling, and retail management activities):

  • Advertising
  • Managing accounts
  • Billing
  • Branding or managing products  
  • Collecting payments
  • Marketing
  • Conducting market research
  • Coordinating media relations
  • Merchandizing
  • Processing orders  
  • Selling
  • Telemarketing


Customer and aftersales service. Activities, including training, help desks, call centers, and customer support for guarantees and warranties, that provide support services to customers after purchase of the good or service:

  • Offering call center services  
  • Providing customer relations  
  • Providing customer service or support
  • Installing products
  • Maintaining and repairing products
  • Providing technical support
  • Providing warranty support


Support Business Processes

General management and firm infrastructure. Corporate governance (legal, finance, planning, and public and government relations), accounting, building services, management, and administrative support activities:

  • Accounting
  • Providing administrative support
  • Providing cafeteria services  
  • Providing clerical support
  • Managing contracts
  • Managing documents
  • Providing facility or maintenance services
  • Managing finances
  • Managing fraud
  • Providing general management
  • Managing government relations
  • Providing housekeeping services
  • Providing investor relations
  • Providing legal and regulatory support
  • Planning
  • Maintaining security


Human resources management. Activities associated with recruiting, hiring, training, compensating, and dismissing personnel:

  • Providing employee assistance  
  • Managing human resources  
  • Offering labor relations services  
  • Managing payroll and compensation
  • Hiring and firing personnel
  • Recruiting
  • Training


Technology and process development. Activities related to maintenance, automation, design or redesign of equipment, hardware, software, procedures, and technical knowledge:

  • Developing computer systems  
  • Maintaining or repairing computer systems
  • Managing data
  • Processing data
  • Engineering
  • Providing Internet services
  • Designing processes
  • Developing and testing software
  • Providing software and information technology services

Consulting Profession

The Ross Business School at the University of Michigan offers an overview of the Consulting profession here: In it, they list several pros and cons of this career choice.


Sharon P. Brown, “Business Processes and Business Functions: a new way of looking at employment,” Monthly Labor Review, December  2008, 55-56, accessed August 11, 2017,