• Subject: RE: Who's going to call Hesheys?
  • From: "Daniel Wesloskie" <dan.wesloskie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 19:27:52 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

Below is an exerpt from the WSJ.


Hershey embarked on its computer project in 1996, partly to satisfy
retailers who are demanding increasingly that suppliers fine-tune deliveries
so that they can keep inventories -- and thus costs -- down. The company
also faced year-2000 problems with its old computer system.

The project called for 5,000 personal computers, as well as network hubs and
servers and several different vendors. Under the new system, software from
Siebel Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif., Manugistics Group Inc., Rockville,
Md., and SAP AG, Walldorf, Germany, is used by Hershey's 1,200-person sales
force and other departments for handling every step in the process, from
original placement of an order to final delivery. It also runs the company's
fundamental accounting and touches nearly every operation; tracking raw
ingredients; scheduling production; measuring the effectiveness of
promotional campaigns; setting prices; and even deciding how products ought
to be stacked inside trucks. International Business Machines Corp. was hired
to pull it all together.

Despite the complexity of the system, Hershey decided to go on line with a
huge piece of it all at once -- a so-called big bang that computer experts
say is rare and dangerous. Initially, the confectioner planned to start up
in April, a slow period. But development and testing weren't complete, and
the date was pushed to July, when Halloween orders begin to come in.
Retailers say, and Hershey confirms, that the problem is in getting customer
orders into the system and transmitting the details of those orders to
warehouses for fulfillment.

But no one is taking responsibility. Kevin McKay, chief executive officer
and president of SAP's U.S. unit, says the system itself isn't at fault. "If
it was a system issue, I'd point directly to a system issue," he says. Mr.
McKay says he is in touch with Hershey executives almost daily, and he
points out that the companies successfully installed an SAP system in
Hershey's Canadian operation last year, though that operation is a tiny
fraction of the size of the U.S. operation. IBM spokesman Brian Doyle says
the company continues to help Hershey address "its business challenges,"
adding that "the business process transformation under way at Hershey is an
enormously complex undertaking."

Siebel executives say that Hershey officials told them the problem wasn't
with their software. "It may have turned out with the big bang kind of
installation, they were maxed out there," says Paul Wahl, Siebel's

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-midrange-l@midrange.com
[mailto:owner-midrange-l@midrange.com]On Behalf Of Don
Sent: Saturday, October 30, 1999 2:33 PM
To: Bill Paris
Cc: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
Subject: Re: Who's going to call Hesheys?

Bill, et al,

I want to know who's SOFTWARE they installed!

Don in DC

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