The rebirth of re-engineering

Once again, it's all about business processes. But this time around, IT is leading the charge.

By , Computerworld |  IT Management, business process reengineering

"As I look back at re-engineering, especially around ERP systems, there would be lengthy projects where you'd set out a 'to-be' state that you could work toward for two years and then find out that's not what you enabled or that it wasn't accurate," Sheedy says. "Today, business is moving too fast for IT to work off of a blueprint that may be a year out of date. That's why re-engineering is much smaller, quicker efforts."

- Julia King

Now, in contrast, Hospira still has an SAP team, which deals strictly with technical issues and ERP technology. But it also has appointed relationship managers who sit on cross-functional teams organized around 12 different value streams. Now, Jones says, "when someone from the business calls, they know exactly who in IT to talk to."

Currently, the pharmaceutical manufacturer has seven of its biggest and most important projects operating in this manner, Jones says. The ultimate goal, under an enterprise initiative known as GATE, which stands for "globally aligned and transformative enterprise," is to have the entire company humming the same process-focused tune.

Moshe Schechter, director of device manufacturing operations at Hospira, is the "value stream owner" for the company's procure-to-stock process. The process includes all of the steps involved in acquiring raw materials, making medical devices such as tubing and infusion equipment, and finally, stocking the products in the warehouse.

Schechter's team also includes a relationship manager who is his key contact back to IT. "I know exactly where to go as a business leader," he says.

"As the value stream owner, I'm from the business side and I'm responsible for revamping the process," Schechter emphasizes. In previous re-engineering efforts elsewhere, "IT had business analysts who were re-engineering the processes so they could launch technology. There was no buy-in from the organization being re-engineered," he says, adding that "one of the biggest lessons learned is that re-engineering has to be a part of everyone's goals."

Jones puts it this way: "People, processes and technology go together for a reason. It's the people who change the process, and it's the process that is accelerated or automated because of the technology."

Pick Up the Pace


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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