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Systemet som inte funkade - och debatt om företagsbloggar

"The installation in February of a new wireless inventory system led to widespread confusion and missed orders ... employees were wrestling with a wireless bar-code system that many found baffling. Ideally, it would track the path of each order, from the inventory on the shelves to the shipments zipping away on UPS. But each item required multiple bar-code scans, a process that overtaxed iFulfill's rotating workforce.

'Orders would come through, and we'd say: 'It's here...somewhere,'' recalls Matt Wineland (...) With the new system, packages often went out with the wrong contents. 'Men who ordered male enhancements got female enhancements,' Wineland says."
Business Week: Blogging as You Go Belly Up, 4 aug 2005
Det kraschade e-handelsföretaget som Bengt hänvisade till hette iFulfill; BusinessWeeks historia om det finns ovan.

Kanske var det mer som inte fungerade hos iFulfill; men företaget hade i alla fall sju år på nacken, så tidigare måste det i alla fall ha gått någorlunda bra. Jag skulle gärna läsa mer om det fatala nya systemet (ur användbarhetssynpunkt), men det nämns strängt taget inte mer än ovan.

Intresset kring iFulfill handlar nu mest om att ägaren och chefen Paul Purdue bloggade medan företaget föll samman - och hur och om vad. På Business weeks egna bloggar rasar ruinerade kunder (se kommentarerna) mot idén att det är smart att skriva öppet om företaget på en blogg; men får svar av BWs skribent att VDn kanske borde varit ännu ärligare:
Correction in iFulfill story (4 aug)
The tale of Paul Purdue's fall is not an indictment of business blogging (6 aug)

Också hos Business Blog Consulting: iFulfill.com's Failure Chronicled on Blog (18 aug)

Relaterat i Business Week: Dell får stora skälvan sedan bloggare klagat på företagets dåliga service och fått tusentals nya besökare (Dell: In the Bloghouse, 25 aug)


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04 sep 2005

Kommentarer

Purdue's sista inlägg i google's cache tyder på att "det fatala nya systemet" var en mycket liten del av deras problem:

"Looking back now I realize that. I'm not a manager, I'm a nerd. In the early days, it was easy. There was only me and it was a long time before we grew to be the size we ended up. But as we grew, I got pulled in all different directions and found myself micromanaging all areas - not a good way to manage. I tried to be a Jack of all trades, but the end of that saying is "master of none"."

"And my other key fault: finance. Again, I'm a nerd, not a businessman. I had an idea and went with it. I didn't study a business model and calculate the net return; I was a nerd with an idea."

"In November of 2004, I fired our warehouse manager (and assistant manager). In hindsight, I realize that this was the beginning of a downward spiral. She had wanted to move into another part of the company that interested her, but an area that she was not quite prepared for. I made mistake of letting her, and when I realized my error, we had already replaced her as warehouse manager."

"A problematic Christmas followed, because of the managerial changes that were made, and because of the nature of the season in the fulfillment industry."

"Shortly after Christmas, we began a move into a new facility that offered 5 times more pick space, 3 times more pallet space, but which increased costs by threefold. The move went badly, took longer than expected, and took more people than we thought it would."

"A few months after that, we implemented a new paperless and wireless pick/pack system that we thought would run flawlessly. It didn't, and it took us a long time to get our arms around the problems."

"For the first time in our history, we lost merchants. Sure we had lost merchants before, but never at a rate greater than we were gaining them."

"The rest is history. We tried to find investors, failed, and closed."

Från: Fredrik | Skickat vid: 10:56, 05 september 2005

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