From source to consumption: 3M brings supply chain expertise to the UK

INFORMATION: Free information is available from 3M on the subject in this story. Click here to request a copy

3M Supply Chain Solutions is a recent introduction to the UK market. Hugh Murphy, Business Manager, UK & Ireland, 3M Supply Chain Solutions (pictured left), tells more.

Q: Can you give an overview of HighJump Software?
A: HighJump Software is a US company acquired by 3M, and recently launched in the UK under the banner 3M Supply Chain Solutions'.

Although consumers know 3M for products such as Post It Notes and business people might be more familiar with our high-tech adhesives and abrasives, what many people dont realise is that were the leading force behind several high-growth IT markets.

For example, 3M is a market leader in the medical records technology driving the funding changes in the NHS, and we are also providing the biometric passport system behind some of the UKs most critical national security projects.

We know from our relationships with C-level executives in companies all over the world that supply chain performance is becoming ever more critical, and 3M took a decision to bring our skills to this high growth market space. We acquired HighJump because we believe the companys technology will revolutionise the control that companies have over their supply chain.

As a global manufacturer ourselves, doing business in over 200 countries and with our own supply chain operations in around 60, 3M knows the challenges that supply chain and IT executives face, and we believe we have a compelling proposition for customers.

Q: What types of solutions are found in the HighJump portfolio?

A: HighJump provides a full suite of best-of-breed software solutions for the supply chain execution space. These include warehouse management, yard management, labour management and RFID compliance, as well as supplier collaboration and manufacturing execution.

The unique thing about HighJumps technology is that because the company has not grown by acquisition, we have been able to develop all of our applications on one single platform, which means a lower cost of ownership for customers, and an elegant architecture that IT managers at our customers rave about. Our platform is engineered for flexibilityand we even allow customers to make their own changes to the system and still stay on our upgrade path.

Q: How is HighJump used within 3M?

A: Right now in Europe were in the process of installing HighJump to manage VMI raw material hubs at two of our UK manufacturing plants. We also have an project underway in 3M Greece.

Later in the year we have an even more exciting initiative coming our way. 3Ms Japanese operations is the pilot site in Q4 for an exciting new HighJump product which for the first time will manage supply chain operations on the manufacturing shop floor using the same platform as the warehouse.

Q: In this issue [May 2006], we're focusing on consumer goods; what exactly can you do for companies in this market?

A: The exciting difference with HighJumps product set is that it is much more highly adaptable than the legacy solutions used by many large companies today. For consumer goods companies struggling with challenges like retailer compliance, the difficulty can often come from unexpected areas. Customers tell us that implementing even the smallest business process changes can take them three to six months to achieve.

HighJump customers get the ability to manage these changes themselves. 3M provides training and a simple-to-use set of adaptability tools that customers can then use to update their system themselves, without having to pay for or wait for the software company to turn up.

HighJump customers range from large multinationals like Starbucks and Quiksilver, to local businesses like Rosebysa 370 store soft furnishings retailer here in the UK.

Q: What are your ambitions for the UK market?

A: Thats easy to answerwe plan to be market leader! And with HighJumps technology, and 3Ms financial and corporate backing we are pretty excited about our prospects.

INFORMATION: Free information is available from 3M on the subject in this story. Click here to request a copy

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