Technology in Management Communication

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Technology in Management Communication
As the architect of the 3M innovation network, the multifaceted world wide web site for 3M, James Radford is at the forefront of the movement towards electronic access and sharing of information, both internally and externally. In this role as Interactive Business Solutions Manager, Radford is one of a team of experts who help different units within 3M apply interactive technologies to enhance two-way communication between customers and company personnel. In building a foundation for tomorrow’s electronic marketplace, Radford and his colleagues need to know not only what customers want but also how they operate in cyberspace. “We’re carefully studying how customers react to the online experience”, he says. “It’s important to understand how to build a relationship of trust with customers through online delivery and how to open the door to people who have never before come to us.” Fast and accurate internal communication is an important priority in a $14 billion global company with more than 70,000 employees and some 60,000 products for sale, “E-mail has become the communication tool of choice at 3M, replacing volumes of paper and fax documents as well as phone calls and some express courier service, “Radford says. “Our employees are comfortable with email because it’s integrated into their desktop environment and they receive email training starting on the first day of employment.” The company uses Lotus Notes for internal communication, so the design of each email document is uniform - making the exchanges of information much more efficient. “With regular use of a common format, readers learn to anticipate the visualcues,” Radford explains. “Then they can move through their messages much more quickly because they know where information appears on the form.” One of the most important on-going projects at 3M is the development of a “global enterprise data warehouse,” a massive electronic storehouse of data and graphics that...
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