Collaboration And IT A Must For Success, Perot Systems Exec Says - InformationWeek

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Collaboration And IT A Must For Success, Perot Systems Exec Says

Businesses need to reengineer business processes to more closely align their supply-chain efforts with their partners.

Who says IT doesn't matter? Not James Champy, chairman of consulting at services firm Perot Systems, who kicked off the second day of InformationWeek's Fall Conference in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

In fact, any business that wants success in today's competitive landscape--intensified by globalization and outsourcing--must be a "technology-powered company," Champy told attendees during the Tuesday morning keynote.

It's particularly important for companies to use technology to change business processes that span their operations and those of their customers and business partners so they can more closely collaborate. Markets that stand to benefit most from this strategy are those where one company can't solve the supply-chain problem alone, such as in the health-care, electronics, and automotive industries, Champy said.

Many companies within these industries have already started reengineering internal processes, and now it's time to do so with suppliers and customers. The electronics industry, for example, has transformed the processes underpinning its global supply to improve flow of inventory and information. The business-process reengineering and supply-chain collaboration began in earnest in 2000, when companies such as Lucent Technologies and Cisco Systems shed their manufacturing facilities and outsourced production to electronic manufacturing services companies such as Celestica, Solectron California, and others.

Buyers and suppliers that are willing to work together to build and use jointly owned, industry-accessible business processes on a Web-based platform will become the most successful, Champy said.

But business success will take more than collaboration. The platform must be transparent and employ standard technologies, and will also require tighter working relationships among participants to create trust between companies, he said.

Ultimately, a technology-driven, business-process reengineering initiative that improves the supply chain will benefit all. Said Champy, it's about "lowering the cost, improving the value, while at the same time improving profitability."

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