Consolidation, Standardization Project Launched At Nissan

It's apparently a companywide initiative designed to unite all the automaker's plants and offices.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

February 6, 2003

1 Min Read

By 2005, Nissan Motor Co. execs say, the company will boost internal efficiency, cut operating costs, and increase security by consolidating and standardizing its IT operations.

Nissan won't say how much it's spending on the program, but it's apparently a companywide initiative designed to unite all the automaker's plants and offices. "We've had disconnected processes," says Gerry Spahn, VP of investor relations. "Our factories couldn't talk to our design centers."

The Japanese carmaker has hired IBM to deploy common enterprise-integration apps and build a more robust corporate intranet. Nissan hired IBM in 2000 to outsource all its IT operations in Japan to IBM, a move it made a year earlier with its North American operations.

It's also hired services company Schlumberger Ltd. to install a common security system for all facilities. By next year, the company will deploy Schlumberger's Dexa.Badge system, which encompasses smart cards and related hardware and software. Dexa.Badge lets an employee use the same card to enter a building and log on to a PC. The system would replace an ad hoc array of everything from "paper cards to keys," says Tomoya Shitara, a program manager at Schlumberger.

Nissan's consolidation comes in the midst of "Nissan 180," a program under which execs hope to grab a bigger chunk of the global auto markets while reducing costs. It's hoping to boost vehicle sales to 3.6 million units by 2005 from 2.6 million in 2002 while achieving operating margins of 8%. Last week, Nissan said it would increase auto production at its Smyrna, Tenn., plant from 410,000 units per year to 500,000.

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