10 August 2000 | Cathy Hayward
Computer peripherals company Information Media Group (IMG) is to examine its supply chain processes every six months.
The plan follows the successful completion of a five-year re-engineering scheme that saved the company, which is part of Hitachi Europe, around £4 million.
Rapid expansion prompted IMG to look at its supply chain processes in 1995. Within six months, the firm had moved from shipping five tonnes of goods - including DVD drives, monitors and LCD projectors - a month, to 200 tonnes a month.
It was decided that IMG should outsource its supply chain operations, as the review showed that it could not sustain service levels by using shared facilities and multiple carriers.
Going into partnership with supply chain solutions firm MSAS Global Logistics, IMG drew up a programme of improvement.
"We needed to get the basics right," said Mawgan Wilkins, IMG's European supply chain manager. "We had to get away from being reactive and look at the supply chain strategically."
According to Wilkins, IMG's reliability, inventory control and data flow have all been improved. End-to-end product visibility was also achieved.
The next stage of the programme is expected to result in a greater sharing of data with suppliers - and eventually customers, said Wilkins.
Gary Kibblewhite, chairman of the Association of Franchised Distributors of Electronic Components, said that although firms like IMG have to adapt to stay efficient, the introduction of industry-wide e-commerce interoperability standards should revolutionise supply chain management in the electronics sector.