The Next Thousand Days

By Deborah Gage  |  Posted 2003-10-01 Email Print this article Print

A manufacturer of scientific instruments forced a troubled British subsidiary to do things its way.

The Next Thousand Days

Waters may have managed the Micromass conversion within its tight time frame. But that does not guarantee that it can repeat the process effectively as it grows.

Giga analyst Byron Miller notes that he has yet to meet a company much larger than Waters that is capable of supporting a single global instance of ERP software, as Waters is trying to do. The complexity of defining the business processes required to handle different customers and product lines becomes overwhelming.

And the Micromass integration isn't over. To convert its manufacturing operations, Waters is putting employees from Micromass' Manchester headquarters in leadership positions, something that did not happen in the first 99 days. "The idea is that we don't come to the table saying our idea is the right way, the best way, the only way," Talon says.

Newton, meanwhile, keeps a bottle of champagne in his office for the day when Waters is finally done with integration projects. How long before he opens it? "Years and years," he says, smiling. "We're really never done."

Senior Writer
Based in Silicon Valley, Debbie was a founding member of Ziff Davis Media's Sm@rt Partner, where she developed investigative projects and wrote a column on start-ups. She has covered the high-tech industry since 1994 and has also worked for Minnesota Public Radio, covering state politics. She has written freelance op-ed pieces on public education for the San Jose Mercury News, and has also won several national awards for her work co-producing a documentary. She has a B.A. from Minnesota State University.


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