Owens Struggle

Page 1 of 6

Owens Struggle

By | July 2009
Page 1 of 6
64 Part I I ORGANIZATIONS, MANAGEMENT, AND THE NETWORKED ENTERPRISE CASE STUDY Owens-Corning's Enterprise System Struggle
In the early 1990s Owens-Corning was a U.S. leader in the pro- Owens-Corning's project began with its insulation group, duction and sale of such building materials as insulation, siding, and those on the project team understood this. They undertook and roofing, but management wanted the company to grow. a redesign process before implementing SAP's R/3. They set up The company had only two possible paths to growth: offering a cross-functional teams to identify the handoffs and touch points fuller range of building materials, or becoming a global force. To between the various functions. For example, the process that increase its range of products Owens-Corning decided to runs from the time the firm needs to buy something through the acquire other companies. To become a global force, manage- payment issuance to the supplier touches logistics and accountment realized the company would need to become a global ing. The teams also kept in close contact with suppliers who enterprise that could coordinate the activities of all of its units in needed to know what Owens-Corning would require of them. many different countries. As a result of the redesign, purchasing decisions were moved Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Owens-Corning had been from the plants up to a regional level, enabling commodity spedivided along product lines, such as fiberglass insulation, exterior cialists to use their expertise and the leverage of buying for a siding, and roofing materials. Each unit operated as a distinct entity larger base to improve Owens-Corning's purchasing position. with its own set of information systems. (The company had more How did the first ERP project go? During a weekend in than 200 archaic, inflexible, and isolated systems.) Each plant had March 1997 a team of about 60 people transferred legacy data its own product lines, pricing schedules, and...