Today, we are led to think that every company which wants to stay on the run has to implement an information system. Success stories of online businesses led companies, even those which exist from the 20th century, to develop an e-business approach. By information system we mean an organized system of different resources (soft wares, procedures, data ) which allow to get, process and stock information within and between organizations. What could explain the implementation of an information system for a company? Does it mean necessarily positive fallout? To answer this question, we will analyze one of the older economic sectors: car industry. We will compare 2 companies, General Motors and Land Rover, which have both developed an e-business approach. After a brief description of their background, we will focus on their e-business plan, to try to emphasize the critical key factors of an effective information system.
[...] To enable consistency of vehicles, GM and Land Rover developed both an online sharing system (Covisint for and Computervision for land Rover), which allowed all actors of the Supply Chain to work in the same time on the same prototypes. Online electronic prototypes libraries were created too. For sure, this responded of a need to earn time because the staffs were not, for example, forced to reinvent a wheel (they could take the one of an other vehicle). But it could also mean economies of scale as for purchasing. [...]
[...] As for strategy, ICT aim at linking activities of the Value Chain, and it is the condition of its success. We are led to think that GM failed in that way: the group created different portals for different needs, and linked them later ICT need time to be integrated in the global process, and so Land Rover was true while reviewing the Supply Chain as a whole Different contexts Obviously, the size of the company is not the same for GM and Land Rover. [...]
[...] The role of the information system is obvious in the collect and process of information from the customers, via a Website for Land Rover and a specific portal for GM, which meant rapidity and efficiency. This allowed providing one-to-one services, at the best price and in the best time 20 days for GM and 2 weeks for Land Rover) Internal logistics. A High degree of personalisation may lead to complexity, an increasing of costs and stocks. However, one of the prerogatives of both groups was to limit stocks; for GM, it was even substantial because it was in a configuration of overproduction due to the structure of its costs lot of fixed costs encourages the group going on producing without taking into account real sales). [...]
[...] To be included in a group's business, ICT should also be aligned with the firm's strategy, organisation and context, which truly affect its reliability. GM and Land Rover are a good example of this statement: both developed the same e-business approach but they had different results, and not necessarily in favour of the most powerful of them. In our days, GM still knows huge difficulties. This year, the second automaker in the world succeeded to get the first place. Land Rover is still on the market, with for example the launch of Freelander 2 recently. Other time, this illustrates the [...]
[...] Let's add that this build-to-order system not only mean cost effectiveness and short production schedule, but also personalisation of the consumer's request, a one-to-one consumer service. Finally, the Web site permits to access a wider market Services Why should the group develop free services? Because they add value to the consumer, and this could differentiate products proposed by the company. With Onstar and GM ownercenter sections in the Website), GM incorporated new added value services just like manual and maintenance tips, and even satellite communication. [...]
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