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Johnson & Johnson: Building An Infrastructure To Support Global Operations Analysis

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Case Study I3

Johnson & Johnson: Building an Infrastructure

to Support Global Operations Analysis

Jonet Prevost-White

Strayer University


The Credo

Since 1935 Johnson & Johnson's credo embraces the idea of true customer service, giving the consumer the best product in a timely manner at a fair price It also states how the company must constantly "purchase new equipment" to keep up with times to create an honest "return" (Johnson & Johnson, 2005) Many businesses today would go a lot farther should they adopt such a business motto they could hold themselves and their employees to everyday.

General Robert Wood Johnson and his two brothers began a company in 1885 that would go on to help revolutionize the surgical and medical fields with their innovative products. Johnson & Johnson, with approximately 109,900 employees, is the world's most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical devices and diagnostics markets. Johnson & Johnson has more than 200 operating companies in 57 countries, selling products throughout the world. (PR Newswire 2005) , Besides making and marketing a great product, J & J has won numerous awards on being a top diversity employer, a top company for working moms , and a large contributor to organizations that support women and girls. (Johnson & Johnson, 2005)

It is no wonder that such a large corporation would find it necessary, in today's high tech world of mass telecommunications, to solve the need for all of their businesses to have a cross-company infrastructure. J & J seeks to have all of it's companies sharing like product information, customer data, invoicing procedures and communication technology. Having one mind and one point of contact makes the business to business flow an easier activity for their customer as well as being a leader in global e-business. (Charles, 2000)


Management Practices & Independent Businesses

Structured as a business that "embraced operating company autonomy", J & J gained strong financial position in the market by "managing it's operating companies as independent businesses." (Ross, 1995) However this structure made it difficult for vendors to do one stop shopping with J & J as a whole. Executives tried to solve this problem by organizing the operating companies into groups - Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Professional. In 1992 & 1995 Customer Support Center and J & J Health Care Systems were introduced respectively to work with US companies to specifically market J & J products to large managed care providers. (Ross, 1995) Even with the reorganization, they were not sharing data. The systems in place were not able warehouse all the data, and sell all that J & J offered to every U S company.

J & J's Infrastructure

Networking and Computing Services (NCS) handled all the J & J global network and mainframe computing for all the businesses in the US . Every company had it's own independent IS responsible for systems planning development, operations and maintenance. (Ross,1995) Because of the various platforms and subnetworks, NCS could not handle systems management(Source?). J & J's European companies were managed from a centralized support team in Belgium that their network as a subset of J & J's global network(Source?). As Jos DeSmedt noted, " ...we can automate the management more uniformly over the region from this central location." (Ross, 1995, p.157)

Four problem areas were identified(Source?):

* Too much time was spent infrastructure and not focusing on applications

* Lack of technology standards was costly and inhibited services to businesses.

* Lack of funding for building and enterprise wide infrastructure

* Lack of data standards block the ability to share data across companies (Ross 1995)

Setting Standards

J & J has multiple companies with multiple ways of defining the same sort of data(Source?). With thousands of products to supply and track, creating common definitions to be used cross-company & global wide will be a daunting task(Source?). All the companies and staff must be on-board before and aware of the changes(Source?).

Ed Parrish, CIO, identified three initiatives intended to enable easy sharing of information across companies(Source?): (1) standardizing data definitions and formats for key data elements on a world-wide basis, (2) defining and establishing the information technology infrastructure needed to share data and information electronically, and (3) developing and applying IT expertise as a corporate rather than a company function. (Ross, 1995) Remember the use of transitions (e.g. however, accordingly, first, second, etc...), they are helpful to the reader Steve Piron, Vice President of Information Architecture began the task of standardization. Piron's teams would be putting a process in place that as described by Ross (1995) , "...defined standard data definitions in critical areas like customer, product, competitor, supplier, and then determine which would be shared on a w This is all just restating the case and others authors--where is your writing?orld-wide basis, which was regional data item and which was a country data item."

The sizes of companies vary in size, the cost to upgrade and integrate cannot be incurred by smaller companies(Source?). Within J & J, most companies operated it's IT on an individual basis, sharing the cost of changing to a central IT management seems unreasonable to a small company with a small budget(Source?). In any event, sacrifice must be made in every company to gain the advantage of being able to cross-connect to other companies and share in the data base as well as system integration for the "good of J & J" as an entity. (Ross, 1995)


Analysis the analysis section should be the second to the last section



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