Johnson Controls Takes To The Web

May 8, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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HOLLAND — Of the many auto industry innovations Johnson Controls Inc. has introduced, the latest — and possibly the most exciting — is not a car part. The automotive interior supplier unveiled NexCommerce at the 2001 North American Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month. In addition, JCI will demonstrate several Internet-based tools created to support the company’s emphasis on value creation.

“We believe our NexCommerce strategy will enable us to accelerate improvements in innovation, speed, efficiency, time-to-market and customer satisfaction — bringing greater value to automakers and consumers,” said Rande Somma, president of North America for the Automotive Systems Group of Johnson Controls.

JCI began implementing its NexCommerce initiatives last year, in anticipation of changes within the global automotive industry. Somma said automakers and suppliers are adopting new, collaborative business processes and tools in an increasingly competitive and demanding marketplace.

The company has developed a set of Web-based tools that act as enablers to its NexCommerce strategies. Its e-business systems, also announced at the show, are focused around three, key Internet portals that will enable JCI to enhance its links with customers, suppliers and employees.

JCI’s new B2B (Back2Basics) Customer Portal is a shared database environment that will give authorized customers real-time access to key information concerning product launches, enhancing communication and collaboration among members of product development teams.

Johnson Controls is working with several strategic partners to develop its Supplier Portal, a single point of contact for procurement, product launch and supply-chain management. Extended enterprise partners will use this tool to receive and respond to requests for quotations, interact with quality-management systems, submit cost-reduction ideas and manage inventory against manufacturing demand.

The Johnson Controls Employee Portal will provide a unified, personalized information resource for company employees around the world.

“The Employee Portal will be an important tool that will enable us to manage our work lives in a centralized, self-service manner,” said Michael Suman, Johnson Controls’ group vice president for e-business and marketing. “As our employees use Internet tools inside the company, it will be natural for us to use the same collaborative tools when we work outside the company with customers and suppliers.”

“With our NexCommerce initiatives and the advanced tools we have created to support them, we are emerging as an organization that is ready to lead the auto industry to the next level,” continued Suman.

“The Johnson Controls portals are key entry points which give customers, suppliers and employees access to common databases and new e-business tools that will accelerate value creation throughout the entire vehicle development and supply process. This approach supports the B2B — or Back2Basics — philosophy.”   

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