If you've built it, will they come?
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 layout—right down to the fixtures—and
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."