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BP Chemicals' commercial system: a strategic transition

Author: Jelassi, Tawfik ; Dutta, SoumitraINSEAD Area: Technology and Operations Management In: Strategic information systems: a European perspective - Ciborra, Claudio;Jelassi, Tawfik - 1994 - INSEAD Book Language: EnglishDescription: p. 113-132.Type of document: INSEAD ChapterNote: Please ask the Library for this chapter.Abstract: In the early 1980s BP Chemicals faced challenges calling for some fundamental changes in its business strategy. The strong emphasis on production was given way to a renewed search for new sources of competitive advantage such as enhanced customer service. In 1985, BP Chemicals embarked on an ambitious project (the Commercial System Project [CSP]) to integrate all aspects of its international commercial activities and implement the organizational changes required for this integration. The complexity of the CSP project was under-estimated and mismanaged from the start. By 1991, the project was four years late and had incurred an over-expenditure of five times the original budget. The organizational changes required to fully harness the benefits of the CSP were only then being implemented. This paper describes the strategic planning and implementation of the Commercial System, and attempts to draw some lessons from the experience/In the early 1980s, BP Chemicals faced challenges calling for some fundamental changes in its business strategy. The strong emphasis on production was given way to a renewed search for new sources of competitive advantage such as enhanced customer service. In 1985, BP Chemicals embarked on an ambitious project to integrate all aspects of its international commercial activities. An information system, the Commercial System, was to form the core of this project and enable the organizational changes required for this integration. After overcoming the difficulties of implementing a large international information system, BP Chemicals is now facing the challenge of initiating major changes in its organizational structure and business processes. This paper describes the strategic planning and implementation of the Commercial System, and attempts to draw some lessons from the expertise
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In the early 1980s BP Chemicals faced challenges calling for some fundamental changes in its business strategy. The strong emphasis on production was given way to a renewed search for new sources of competitive advantage such as enhanced customer service. In 1985, BP Chemicals embarked on an ambitious project (the Commercial System Project [CSP]) to integrate all aspects of its international commercial activities and implement the organizational changes required for this integration. The complexity of the CSP project was under-estimated and mismanaged from the start. By 1991, the project was four years late and had incurred an over-expenditure of five times the original budget. The organizational changes required to fully harness the benefits of the CSP were only then being implemented. This paper describes the strategic planning and implementation of the Commercial System, and attempts to draw some lessons from the experience/In the early 1980s, BP Chemicals faced challenges calling for some fundamental changes in its business strategy. The strong emphasis on production was given way to a renewed search for new sources of competitive advantage such as enhanced customer service. In 1985, BP Chemicals embarked on an ambitious project to integrate all aspects of its international commercial activities. An information system, the Commercial System, was to form the core of this project and enable the organizational changes required for this integration. After overcoming the difficulties of implementing a large international information system, BP Chemicals is now facing the challenge of initiating major changes in its organizational structure and business processes. This paper describes the strategic planning and implementation of the Commercial System, and attempts to draw some lessons from the expertise

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