Building an Internet-Based Workflow System: The Case of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories' Zephyr Project

Judith Gebauer (University of California, Berkeley, USA) and Heike Schad (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Copyright: © 1999 |Pages: 119
EISBN13: 9781599043746|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-956-8.ch010
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories’ Zephyr System demonstrates how emerging technologies can help streamline procurement processes and improve the coordination between participants in engineering projects by enabling new ways of collaboration. The project also shows the success of a highly pragmatic approach that intentionally covered only standard situations, rather than additionally automating the exceptions. Assigning purchasing responsibilities to the end user reduces the involvement of the purchasing department in operational activities. This streamlined the process, resulting in major time savings, cost reductions, and improved quality. Left with less dayto- day purchasing operations, the purchasing department has more time for strategic tasks such as selecting and pre-qualifying new suppliers, negotiating contracts, or implementing new procurement systems. The case reinforces the notion that the use of information technologies can result in major benefits when aligned with process re-organization efforts.
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