By Tom Steinert-Threlkeld  |  Posted 2006-01-20 Print this article Print

More than five years ago, the world's largest food maker set out to standardize how it operates around the world. GLOBE, or the Global Business Excellence program, is aimed at getting far-flung operations to use a single system to predict demand, purchase

é By the Numbers">

Headquarters: Avenue Nestlé 55, CH-1800, Vevey, Switzerland
Phone: 41-21-924-21-11
Business: The world's largest manufacturer of food products; has extensive holdings in coffee, chocolate, baby formula and bottled water.
Chief Executive Officer: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
Project Leader: Chris Johnson
Financials in 2004: Net income of $5.4 billion on sales of $69.9 billion
Challenge: Implement a single set of procurement, distribution and sales management systems and processes worldwide.

Save $2.4 billion by the end of 2006, from supply chain, sales generation
and support activities.
  • Spend no more than $2.4 billion in capital, to get these savings.
  • Cap spending on information technology, companywide, at 1.9% of sales each year.
  • Increase percentage of company operating on GLOBE systems to 80% by end of 2006, from 30% at end of 2005.

    Story Guide:

    Nestlé Cooks Up A Global Supply Chain

  • One Supply Chain, 127,000 Products
  • Signed: Global Project Manager; Undefined: The Project
  • Project Plan: Finalized; Schedule: Not So Much
  • Drafting a Project Team of Business-Unit All-Stars
  • Standardizing IT: No So Tough; Standardizing Managers: Not So Easy
  • Project Costs: Capped; Project Schedule: Changed Again
  • Rollout: Fix it as You Go; Goal: Customer Can't Feel the Pain
  • SAP Project: Global; Computing Resources: Limited
  • Nestlé By the Numbers
    Player Roster: Who's Who Among Nestlé Project Planners
    Roadblock: Regional Managers
    Hurdles Overcome: Deploying a Common Global System
    Base Technologies: Nestlé
    SAP: Not Pretty, But It Did the Job

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    Tom was editor-in-chief of Interactive Week, from 1995 to 2000, leading a team that created the Internet industry's first newspaper and won numerous awards for the publication. He also has been an award-winning technology journalist for the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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