Ford is an example of how traditional organizations can mature to adapt what is current and maximizes the business value. The process that Ford went through necessitated the continuous support from management. In addition, it depended on alignment between those involved as a key for success. The correlation was not restricted to internal staff; it extended to cover competitors to reach mutual benefits, to work with suppliers to maintain similar grounds and adequate infrastructure, and to create training programs to educate all on the vision and organization’s objectives.
Ford technical progress came at a time where the Internet was yet to reach its full potential. The introduction of Fiber-optic cables in the late 90’s and the substantial increase in bandwidth would have helped Ford and cut on the cost in endured connecting its own offices. Furthermore, the ISP services that provided hosting servers were limited to only few players, which explained why Ford preferred to manage its own web server and maintain the overhead of the 24 hours uptime and backup.
From this case study, I understood the level of commitment large firms have to maintaining their position in the market. These companies know the revolving nature of business in the sense of how easy it is to fall back if they did not keep up with the change. The Ford process also shows the need for quick and resourceful thinking when faced with situations that might seem to be unfavourable. The way Ford ventured into the foreign market by acquiring local manufacturers was a strategic decision that did not only enabled Ford to merge with different technologies, but it also saved it the additional cost of establishing production centres in Japan and Europe.
- Maintaining leadership in the market requires innovative organizations willing to reengineer to succeed.
- IT fusion with the business means restructuring and re-modelling to understand the role IT would play to meet the business objectives
- Planning and modelling is vital when coordinating work with large teams.
- Constructing websites is not about content; it is about understanding what adds value and how humans interact with information.
- Knowledge management is a plan that companies need to develop as part of their initial business process modelling
- It is not wrong for large firms to try to adapt to successful processes implemented by other firms.
- Robert D. Austin and Mark Cotteleer,”Ford Motor Co.: Maximizing the Business Value of Web Technologies.” Harvard Business Publishing. July 10, 1997. harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/common/item_detail.jhtml;jsessionid=WDARNHINBSYKSAKRGWCB5VQBKE0YOISW?id=198006 (accessed July 30, 2008).
- Computer History Museum, Internet History 80’s. 2006. computerhistory.org/internet_history/internet_history_80s.shtml (accessed July 30, 2008).
- Darren Wilksch and Peter Shoubridge, “IP Convergence in Global Telecommunications.” Defense Science & Technology Organization. March 2001. http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/publications/2400/DSTO-TR-1046.pdf (accessed July 30, 2008).
- Computer History Museum, Internet History 80’s.
- H. Joseph Wen, “From client/server to intranet.” Information Management & Computer Security (MCB UP Ltd) 6, no. 1 (1998): 15-20.
- R. Boutaba, K. El Guemioui, and P. Dini, “An outlook on intranet management.” Communications Magazine (IEEE), October 1997: 92-99.
- Joseph M. Firestone, Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management (OXFORD: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002), 169.
- David J. Skyrme, “Knowledge management solutions – the IT contribution.” ACM SIGGROUP Bulletin (ACM) 19, no. 1 (April 1998): 34 – 39, 34.
- Thomas H. Davenport, Process Innovation: Reengineering Work Through Information Technology (Watertown,MA: Harvard Business Press, 1993), 28.
- Thomas H. Davenport “The New Industrial Engineering: Information Technology and Business Process Redesign.” Sloan Management Review 31, no. 4 (Summer 1990): 11-28, 12
- Gary M. Erickson, Robert Jacobson, and Johny K. Johansson, “Competition for market share in the presence of strategic invisible assets: The US automobile market, 1971-1981.” International Journal of Research in Marketing (Elsevier Science) 9, no. 1 (March 1992): 23-37, 23.
- Austin and Cotteleer, “Ford Motor ” , 2.
- Henk A. Akkermans, et al. “The impact of ERP on supply chain management: Exploratory findings from a European Delphi study.” European Journal of Operational Research 146 (2003): 284-301, 286
- Thomas H. Davenport and Jeffrey D. Brooks, “Enterprise systems and the supply chain.” Journal of Enterprise Information Management 17, no. 1 (2004): 8-19, 9.
- Kevin B. Hendricks, Vinod R. Singhal, and Jeff K. Stratman. “The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance:A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementations.” Journal of Operations Management 25, no. 1 (January 2007): 65-82.