Business & Finance
Commentary
9/19/2003
04:28 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
50%
50%

Editor's Note: Innovation Keeps Supplier Healthy

Innovation. How do you define it? It's a question we've been asking a lot of people lately. I've gotten some very thoughtful responses from readers, many of whom believe that even a rotten economy can't stifle it. It might change it, but it can't kill it. Last week, Kevin Rollins, Dell's president and chief operating officer, said "standardization is leading to innovation, in that it lets users focus more on how they can apply IT." By standardizing much of the infrastructure that serves as the foundation for business, more time and resources can be spent on the strategic projects that increase business value (for more on this, see "Dell And Sun Offer Different Visions," Sept. 17, 2003).

For others, innovation is about optimizing existing business processes or rethinking the way you work with customers, partners, or even competitors. Call it the period when innovation is all about cutting back and doing more. But there's plenty of the "more" category out there, as we found in our annual ranking of the most innovative users of business technology. You'll find hundreds of pages of profiles and research data across 22 industries.

It's worth noting that in 2001, we found significant innovation in the technology practices of Owens & Minor, a Virginia distributor of health-care supplies that topped that year's list. We also saw the company in action as its executives put their efficient supply chain to the test one day after our list was published and helped get the right supplies to the medical community treating injuries from the Sept. 11 catastrophes. Once again, O&M is in the No. 1 spot. You can find out more about its innovative supply-chain operations and push into third-party logistics in , Top Of The List: Owens & Minor Takes Supply Chain Deeper.

Congrats to O&M and all companies continuing to push innovation in many exciting and creative ways.

Stephanie Stahl
Editor
sstahl@cmp.com


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.