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Stories by Don Hill

Lessons from the e-side

Toby Warren is circumspect when it comes to defining his Southfresh software offering. No, it is not a portal application because that term tends to indicate more than trading. And, no, Southfresh would not call itself an application service provider — that term simply doesn’t indicate what the software does. It’s definitely not outsourcing. You might describe it as a supply chain business, but even that term doesn’t tell the full story. What it is, in some cases, is a marketplace, although Warren is nervous about that word as well.
The definition — or lack of one — is important. Warren has a clear idea about what he wants his business to do. He has no desire to have it tarred with the faults of the other online wannabes.

Written by Don Hill31 May 02 22:00

Lessons from the e-side: The world according to Warren

1: Bread in New Zealand is sold on a sale or return basis. The two major bread producers deliver bread into supermarkets, making sure the loaves are dated properly and in the right place on the shelves. If the bread hasn’t sold by a certain time, the remaining loaves are taken away. The returned product amounts to 15-18% of what goes in. The supermarkets are comfortable with this arrangement because it’s easier for them to handle it this way.
Now imagine what would happen if a cashier’s price scanner could also place a forward order to a bakery when supplies were running low. There’s no reason why that couldn’t be done today. It’s neither difficult nor complicated, not even very sophisticated. In such a situation the supermarket might then choose to order bread rather than have it on sale or return. They might order, say, three days in advance. Now the baker can bake to order. The supermarket could then say, “Don’t bother delivering. We’ll place the orders in time for you to bake the bread and we’ll send a veggie truck around to pick up the order.

Written by Don Hill31 May 02 22:00

A little bit of clarity

You’ve got masses of information, a collection of disparate information systems and no easy way to consolidate your data and turn it into business intelligence. You want to bring it all together without having your users think you are into some sort of propellerhead project that the words “business intelligence” imply. What you want is clarity to emerge from your wads of data. That was the challenge facing Forest Resources’ FIS/integration manager Bruce Talbot until recently. Now he’s well on the way to achieving his objectives.
And, hey, what better than to call his project Clarity? No propellerhead stuff in that name. And why not do all the training in-house on the actual data staff are familiar with? Familiarity would aid the learning process. Clarity would aid the business.

Written by Don Hill31 May 02 22:00

Here’s one for the customer

SOLUTIONS Today, almost every company talks about putting the customer first but few companies actually do as they say. For a progressive New Zealand company, Andrew Industrial — a manufacturer and distributor of chemicals, cleaners and industrial consumables — customer satisfaction and market leadership go hand in hand and are a fundamental part of its business strategy.
As the first company in the world to install the Navision Siebel solution, Andrew Industrial is using the system as the cornerstone of its CRM strategy. “Before we implemented this solution, our biggest challenge was trying to share a lot of valuable customer information in a structured manner. We had all this great information about our customers but only a few employees knew about it or had access to it,” says Vinney Kumar, CRM manager at Andrew Industrial. “We needed a tool that would enable us to have a continuous flow of information to and from our customers and throughout our entire organisation.”

Written by Don Hill31 May 02 22:00