This article will also, among others, cover an action plan for the implementation and communication of the solution.
In the recent past decades, the steel industry has morphed through copious changes and steel producers have had to adjust themselves to cope with the heightened competition within the industry as all players seek ways of achieving the much desired competitive advantage over rivals (Crandall, 1981). On its part, despite the massive investments in Information Technology, the competitiveness of USS has not changed much.
A major concern lies in the USS’ high production cost that keeps it lagging behind its South Korean and English counterparts in terms of efficiency. This clearly came in the 1990s when the company’s inefficiency in its tracking system prompted the Ford Motor Company, one of its major clients, to threaten pulling out and to seek the services of other steel makers, citing USS’ production inconsistency as the major cause of this. The investment in IT seems to have helped but the company still faces major inventory and forecasting challenges.
Prior to the major investments in IT, USS’ information flow between the company’s individual plants, factories and major clients could be summarized as inaccurate, inflexible and unmanageable (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2007). The company’s current challenge of high production costs is the main cause for the inventory and forecasting vicious cycle. Its deficiency in a competent tracking system has prompted increased inventories which in turn has lead to lots of wastage and translated to huge costs of containing the enormous amounts of steel within its inventory.
Having lagged behind the major industry players, USS has to reinvent itself if it is to make any possible contributions to its already damaged reputation. The warning from Ford Motor Company should have served as a warning enough to trigger a major