02 November 2000 | Cathy Hayward
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has saved £4 million since it began outsourcing its supply chain in June, according to Philippe Dumoulin, the company's supply chain manager.
Lexmark faced a crisis in 1997 when research revealed 25 per cent of goods were received on time, despite management data putting the figure at 95 per cent. "We discovered we didn't have a supply chain, just a series of loose entities," said Dumoulin. "We outsourced as we didn't have the expertise in-house."
The firm chose software provider Manugistics in June 1998, but implementation was delayed until June this year because of problems linking the firm's enterprise resource planning systems in the US and Europe and educating staff.
But supply chain consultant David Gardiner warned against outsourcing for its own sake. "You need a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Outsourcing your supply chain can give you less visibility and control."
He recommended setting up a project team in-house to manage the outsourced operation.