Merck Case

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Pharmaceuticals: Merck Sustaining Long-term Advantage Through Information Technology Hiroshi Amari Working Paper No. 161 Working Paper Series Center on Japanese Economy and Business Columbia Business School December 1998 Columbia-Yale Project: Use of Software to Achieve Competitive Advantage PHARMACEUTICALS: MERCK Sustaining Long-term Advantage Through Information Technology Prepared by Hiroshi Amari Research Associate, Yale University William V. Rapp and Hugh T. Patrick Co-principal Project Investigators Center for International and Area Studies Yale University New Haven, CT 06520 203-432-9395 (Fax: 5963) e-mail: Revised December 1998 Table of Contents 1. Introduction: Objective of this…show more content…
Yet this case along with the other cases also illustrates that implementation and design of each company 's software and software strategy is unique to its competitive situation, industry and strategic objectives. These factors influence how they choose between packaged and customized software options for achieving specific goals and how they measure their success. Indeed, as part of their strategic integration, Merck and the other leading software users interviewed have linked their software strategies with their overall management goals through clear mission statements that explicitly note the importance of information technology to firm success. They have coupled this with active CIO (Chief Information Officer) and IT (information technology) support group participation in the firm 's business and decision making structure. Thus for firms like Merck the totally independent MIS (Management Information Systems) department is a thing of the past. This may be one reason why outsourcing for them has not been a real option, though their successful business performance is not based solely on software. Rather as shall be described below software is an integral element of their overall management strategy and plays a key role in serving corporate goals such as enhancing productivity, improving inventory management or strengthening customer relations. These systems thus must be coupled with an appropriate approach to

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