Conference Notes

Notes on ECE402 The Liebe Company: Social Business Collaboration in Mid-Sized Manufacturing

Jimmy Liebe fand a couple of people from IBM are talking about their social business collaboration journey. Some notes:

1. Been in business for 90 years. Jimmy’s grandfather started the company. Company is all about lettering and garment manufacturing for sport uniforms and lifestyle garments. Don’t do a lot of marketing.
– … 6-7 years ago, clients got tired of managing the complexity of the supply chain. Needed to simplify. Four stages in the supply chain – garment manufacturing, inventory of garment blanks, garment customization, and then distribution to consumer.
– … Do a lot of customization behind the scenes for big customers, eg., the NFL.
– … A new garment can take 4 months to develop – going through various prototypes and tests.

2. Have a huge number of people to communicate with. Needed something that was more than email and calendaring.
– … real-time sharing of designs with suppliers and manufacturing.
– … wanted an online presence for internal teams so they have the ability to reach out in real-time to suppliers or customers. Also with the League, and owners of the teams.
– … using IBM Notes, IBM Domino (applications), and Sametime (web meetings). Presence awareness in applications allows employees to reach out to suppliers or manufacturing.
– … a Domino application provides up-to-the-minute status on orders.
– … using Quickr for sharing artwork. Eliminated an FTP server that used to do this.
– … rush-orders – new players, a lock out, player transfers. Have to quickly understand whether we have the resources to create and fill the order. The phone wasn’t enough. Used Sametime gateway to connect with suppliers and partners, whether they are using Sametime or Microsoft OCS/Lync.
– … … (Observation – doesn’t appear to have real-time data visibility into availability across the supply chain. Still involves asking questions to others.)

3. Future direction – using a portal to give customers full visibility into the status of their order. Portal offers the right level of security, to keep information private.

4. Will be using Connections to allow people to get to know each other, to contribute to Communities, to learn about expertise.
– Good when the Liebe Company buys another firm. A good way to onboard new people into the wider firm.

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