Case Herman Miller puts the extranet first The office furniture maker Herman Miller…

Case Herman Miller puts the extranet first The office furniture maker Herman Miller ( was a relatively early adopter of Internet technology, but unlike many companies it did not embark first on an intranet. Instead, it decided it was more important to communicate more effectively with suppliers. It created its first extranet in 1998, but in 2000 produced MySign or the Supplier Information Global Network. This portal enabled Herman Miller workers and suppliers to access the finance and manufacturing systems maintained in the company’s Baan ERP system. Users of the portal can also view demand schedules, supplier performance metrics and pricing lists. Ecommerce manager Mike Brunsting explained the company’s aims as ‘we were exposing financial information from our business system to those key financial people at the supplier’. By 2003 around 150 suppliers, representing 90 percent of Herman Miller’s procurement spend, conduct transactions on the portal. Most use the Web page to access demand requirements, to confirm deliveries, and to verify payments.

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