American Semiconductor, Inc. (A) - Service Systems Architecture

By J Michael Harrison, Michael T Pich
1990 | Case No. DS88A
In January of 1986, managers of American Semiconductor, Inc. (ASI) received a memorandum that signalled a new era for the chip-making giant. Looking back on the event a year later, Phil Olsen, the corporate director of Management Information Systems, could see that it presented him with a golden opportunity for influence and advancement, but he was also confronting a technical challenge of major proportions, and a political situation so dangerous that it could ruin his career with the company. George Edwards, President and CEO, had called his memo a “service manifesto”, declaring that the primary strategic goal for AS! was industry leadership in customer service by 1989. Reversing his past emphasis on technology development and cost reduction, Edwards stated that “the role of AS! operations, from product engineering through physical distribution, is to provide the products that customers need, in the amounts needed, and in a timely fashion … A key element in the campaign for service leadership is our service systems architecture. The continued development of this integrated management information system is critical to the company’s future.”
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