The market for high-tech communication, media, entertainment, home, and professional products is constantly growing — fueled by new technological achievements, by the convergence of telecom and IT, by more sophisticated users, and by the pull of emerging markets.
New versions and models with new and improved customer experience hit the market with alarming frequency, driving home the message that lead time to market is crucial for market share. Technological and functional complexity swiftly increase, while the demand patterns of the end consumers are unpredictably dynamic. High tech products have become “perishable goods” that put enormous strain on the R&D, sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, and aftermarket processes.
The dexterity, lead times, and efficiency of the inbound/outbound and after sales value networks along with how innovative your R&D abilities are will determine your competitiveness, profitability, and market shares.
The restructuring of the high-tech industry to meet these demands has forced high-tech manufacturers to focus on their core competencies and to outsource a large portion of the necessary value-added to partners. These partners must have the ability to consolidate generic demands and to create sufficient R&D and component-manufacturing capabilities to increase cost/benefits repeatedly during the year. Distribution structures are changing drastically as e-commerce in a boundless world requires physical distribution capabilities, which through the logistic industry’s huge investments and consolidations can offer overnight deliveries to most geographical areas in the developed countries.
The greatest challenge is to manage the increased complexity in the business logic and to leverage this complexity to the advantage of the company.
Cloud Processes for the value network enable management to take control of the complex end-to-end business processes and automate the basic interaction between the participants in the process. At the same time, they shorten the lead times in value-added activities and the lead time when changing business rules and participants in the value network. If the lead time of change in the value network is longer than the change of business prerequisites, then the competitiveness of the business deteriorates.
Business ImprovementsReduced Operating Cost
eBuilder's Cloud Processes automate more than 50% of the manual administration in handling business transactions for procurement, travel, inbound/outbound order fulfillment, after sales/customer care, and financial transactions. eBuilder makes a reality of “more for less."
Shorter Lead Times in Operational Processes
eBuilder Cloud Processes enable online connectivity end-to-end, access to real-time operational, tactical, and strategic information; and they provide best practice business rules. Automation of business processes frees resources from repetitive administrative tasks so they can be used to handle deviations and improvements. This leads to shorter lead times across the end-to-end flow. Reductions are often in the range of 10-90%.
These reductions are remarkable, and they are a result of capabilities in the Cloud Process that enable the end-to-end, automatic Business Activity Monitoring and ensure that the information is of sufficient quality and that its flow never stops in the end-to-end business process. This enables faster, but always monitored, movement of physical assets.
IT ImprovementsReduce Costs for IT Operations
Most IT organizations have invested heavily in building an enterprise-wide IT infrastructure and ERP functionality. The focus has been on technical implementation, carried out by the business’s own IT organization or outsourced to IT consultants.
The historical trend has been to try to reuse more and more of existing investments and resources and to limit the company’s own investment to what is unique within the company to create competitiveness. This can be seen in the evolution from mainframes to client servers, to the PC, to the browser; and from in-house developed code to standard applications. So far, most projects show a limited ability to leverage external assets and investments. This results in long lead times for implementation, unpredictably high costs, and a focus on cost reduction. In most cases, this results in the IT organization lagging behind in projects that add immediate business value and instead being forced to focus on reducing costs in managing the infrastructure.
Cloud Processes for the value network give the IT organization an opportunity to implement a strategy for seamlessly integrating all external business parties (the value network), a strategy that complements the existing ERP and IT infrastructure investment while extending the enterprise-wide business processes into the value network. In the short term, this lowers IT costs and enhances the value of existing investments because Cloud Processes generate a clear and visible business value within a short period of time.
The Cloud Process implementation is completely different from traditional implementation. For a Community Edition Cloud Process, the implementation process consists of two main activities: Connect to Cloud and operation. The Connect to Cloud project consists of three parts: configuration of the customer-unique business rules, integration of the relevant internal systems, and the addition of unique business partners that are not already connected in eBuilder’s existing Business Process Network. This usually takes less than 15 weeks. Then the operation of the best practice Cloud Process starts. Payment for the operation is done on a transactional basis. ROI has been achieved in less than six months for the majority of the projects eBuilder has implemented.
The key to this favorable ROI is the degree of reuse. eBuilder Cloud Processes for the value network reuse all the 10 main resources of the Cloud Process implemented in our Accelerator SOA technology environment. They also reuse the seamless integration of the 10 different areas and the supervision and control services that ensure availability, quality in the information content (information entropy), and technical functionality. Because many customers share the cost of developing and maintaining this generic platform, the cost to the individual user is dramatically lower than the cost of implementing such a platform on an individual basis.
eBuilder’s Cloud paradigm enables a whole new way of using IT, where IT becomes the business, and computers execute the basic administration tasks that previously were based on human interaction. It also enables the IT organization to leverage joint infrastructure to address the challenges associated with creating efficiency in the value network and to participate in business development.