Chapter Eleven. Systems/The Computer/The Internet

I was once on the board of a company that had installed an integrated “enterprise” system. It was supposed to integrate all the various elements of the business into one smooth-flowing, highly visible model of efficiency. It contained everything from customer-tracking data to order entry to production planning. It was supposed to help with component orders and purchasing. It was supposedly able to plan shipping and generate all the associated accounting and management reports. The software plus attendant installation and consulting costs were over $30 million. This did not include the cost of hardware or internal personnel salaries.

Our top season (Christmas) came and the CEO informed the board ...

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