To implement a successful e-supply chain, you must make sure that your suppliers and retailers will actually use it. Part of the process is to make the participants realize the benefits of that system. Guess? CIO Timm says, "It's important to remember one thing: For many of our product suppliers, it would be an understatement for me to say we are a major customer of theirs. With these suppliers, an electronic procurement strategy is an easy sell, because cost savings and efficiencies will mean the most for them."
Timm envisions the company's portal also playing a major role in crunching costs associated with expanding the company's business: "We're opening up 60 retail stores this year, and we have 4 or 5 hundred shops-within-shops at retail outlets we want to put in place. We purchase a substantial and costly amount of fixtures for these shops.
"With our new supply-chain management system, we can take an existing shop and choose what kinds of fixtures we want in it by browsing an electronic catalog. Then I can produce a cad drawing of the exact layoutright down to the fixturesand send that out to the fixture suppliers. They can [then] look at the drawing and fire back purchase order suggestions based on what they have in stock."