An organizational or business function is a core process or set of activities carried out within a department or areas of a company. Common functions include operations, marketing, human resources, information technology, customer service, finance and warehousing.
Front-office or front-end organizational functions are those directly connected with customers. Marketing, sales and customer service are primary front-office functions. These departments research and develop solutions, promote them to targeted prospects and then provide customer service to drive loyal relationships. These functions also are known as the revenue-generating activities in a business. Company leaders allocate significant budgets to these departments.
Back-office functions support front-office activities, but they do so behind the scenes. HR, finance, IT and warehousing all fit into this category. These functions are important to the success of an organization, but they tend to receive less public recognition. Tension sometimes exist in companies where support functions receive lower budgets and deal with constant cost-control measures. Managers in back-office departments defend the value their teams provide internally to secure equitable compensation and adequate funding.