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DAY TWO: Worldsourcing at Lenovo

Posted 05-04-2009 at 10:40 PM by 94th Annual
John Zapko, executive director, global strategic procurement for Lenovo discussed the company’s worldsourcing process and the challenges of integrating Western and Eastern culture following Lenovo’s 2005 acquisition of IBM’s PC Computing division.

The worldsourcing process drives Lenovo’s innovation across the globe and has several unique characteristics:
• Operational centers worldwide but no headquarters
• Diverse global perspective
• Ideas come from everywhere
• Distributed decision-making
• Operate in the time zone known as “now”
• Service markets anywhere.

The major success factors to the worldsourcing strategy are:
Talent. The company had to find the right talent and distribute them where they could best deliver results. Thus, dozens of executives and senior executives were hired to fill the top-tier leadership positions. Talent was sourced from competitors and suppliers who had a good understanding of the supply chain and could make an immediate impact. With those executives in place, the same process was used to fill the lower positions of the organizational chart. This infusion of talent is what enabled Lenovo to build a world-class supply chain organization.

Strategy. Lenovo needed to unite everyone with a consistent strategy and outline a roadmap of KPIs that everyone worked toward achieving. Lenovo was able to see faster growth and more profitability than its industry competitors by delivering on KPIs and generating unity with a global business management system.

KPIs. A variety of KPIs were developed that enabled Lenovo to establish successful operations regardless of location.
• Exceeding our customer’s requirements
• Enhance Lenovo’s financial position
• Build strong partnerships with suppliers
• Create a flexible supply chain.

BMS. The business management system made it possible for Lenovo’s leaders to achieve their goals regardless of location, business styles or culture. The system drives unification of everything the company wants to achieve and deliver through collaborative communication.

Obviously, these results didn’t come without its challenges. During the transformation, the most difficult challenge was the merging of Eastern and Western business perspectives. An annual supplier conference provides Lenovo worldsourcing leaders and their suppliers to address these challenges through communication and collaboration.
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