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IBM Philippines Rolls Out Web-Based Supply Chain Campaign

IBM Philippines has revealed plans to encourage more local small and medium businesses to engage in el-commerce by establishing their own virtual supply chains.

"A successful supply chain will deliver to the customer the right product, in the right place, at the right time and for the right price," said Hendro Tjahjono, consultant with IBM Global Services in ASEAN/South Asia. "All with the least operating costs throughout the entire supply chain relationship."

"IBM has the support of our solution partners to offer businesses comprehensive solutions to help them achieve these goals," added Tjahjono.

Speaking at the recent launch of the company's supply chain management (SCM) campaign, Tjahjono cited a study done in the US which indicated that companies which practice best-in-class supply chain management techniques achieve a 40 to 45 percent advantage in cash-to-cash cycle time, and a 7 percent cost advantage over average companies.

He observed that most Philippine companies still stick to an 8-to-5 job cycle and those with help desks take no exemption.

"How can they compete globally that way?" he remarked, adding that "virtual supply chain management helps to address this problem. By using e-business, a company can create a new channel of supply chain that is very virtual."

IBM, together with its solutions business partners, are leading an ASEAN-wide campaign to build business awareness and understanding for supply chain management solutions.

This campaign leverages a host of industry-specific capabilities and technologies that combine people, processes and strong technology infrastructure to achieve cost efficiencies and ultimately business returns.

The SCM campaign aims to transform traditional business-to-business process management and describes the control and integration of materials, information flow from material suppliers to the delivery of goods and services to customers. Participants in this cycle extend beyond the local enterprise and many include suppliers, subcontractors, in-house personnel, logistics vendors and even customers.

Explaining the rationale behind the market place needs for efficient SCM, Tjahjono cited dynamic factors such as the globalization and complexity of the global marketplace, and the growing acceptance in using the Internet for business applications.

In today's market, individual companies need to be able to optimize resources across geographies, participate in the global supply chain, and have the technology to extract and exchange data gathered from trading partners and customers.

He explained that supply chain solutions have much faster implementation cycles as compared to enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, typically six to 12 months versus two to four years.

He added that even though supply chain solutions may work in concert with the "transaction backbone", such as ERP, many customers do not need to wait for ERP implementation before processing with implementing supply chain solutions.

Among IBM's campaign plans this year for greater market awareness for supply chain management are solutions workshops and seminars, CEO forums to discuss and address specific business issues, as well as working with key tertiary institutions to build SCM into their curriculum.

Other announcements will include a host of solution offering based on IBM hardware, middleware, systems management and services, alongside with applications partners, for different business applications such as enterprise rescue planning, warehousing, logistics, advanced planning and scheduling.

IBM's Small Business Program includes competitively-priced hardware and software bundles, e-commerce tools, product service and support offerings, and more importantly, on-going technology education and an Asian-wide validation program for locally developed software applications.

This program, targeting businesses in Singapore,Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines with 50 employees or less, aims to make IBM the one-stop, end-to-end solutions to small businesses in the region through advantages in price, product and service and e-business. It comprises special hardware and software promotional packages, extended warranty and discounts on selected IBM services.

There will even be a new low-priced version of the company's award-winning server, Netfinity 1000, just for small businesses. Later this year, IBM will also unveil its Netfinity-based validation program, ServerProven, for locally developed business applications.

The IBM Small Business Program was launched in early May as a worldwide strategy to build IBM brand awareness and the drive usage in a global market estimated by IDC to be worth close to $140 billion.



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