15 March 2001 | Geraint John
Struggling telecomunications equipment maker Lucent Technologies is restructuring its supply chain in a bid to reverse its fortunes.
Jose Mejia, recently promoted from chief procurement officer to chief operating officer at the company, said it wanted to replace a large and fragmented supply chain with a "virtual collaborative network" of suppliers designed to cut costs and bring products to market faster.
To promote this, Lucent recently launched an Internet portal site, which Mejia said now had 1,200 registered users, 150 active suppliers and covered 26 manufacturing sites worldwide. The firm spends over $3 billion a year with contract manufacturers.
"Sourcing is critical," he said. "All companies talk about it, but few do it well."
Mejia added that Lucent, which last month secured $4 billion in credit to finance its restructuring, had no time to waste. "Today, a minute means a lot. We cannot afford to wait for solutions in two or three years. We need help now."