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INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT CASE STUDY
IGB40402 MANAGING DIGITAL FIRM

INSTRUCTION:
Read the case study carefully and answer the questions. Any plagiarism will be penalized and no marks will be given.

Duration: Monday 17th October 2011 – 21st October 2011
Late submission will not be entertained.

CEMEX: A Digital Firm in the Making

Cemex, based Monterrey, Mexico, is a 98-year old company that sells cement and ready-mix concrete products. It has 53 plants around the globe in countries including the United States, Spain, Egypt, Colombia and the Philippines, and is the world's third largest cement and concrete manufacturer. The concrete business is an asset-intensive, low efficiency business with unpredictable demand. Cemex dispatchers used to take orders for 8,000 grades of mixed concrete and forwarded them to six regional mixing plants, each with its own fleet of trucks. Customers routinely changed half of their orders, sometimes only hours before delivery, and these orders might have to be rerouted because of weather change, traffic jams of problems with building permits. Cemex's phone lines were often jammed as customer's truckers and dispatchers tried to get orders straight. Many orders were lost.

Until about 15 years ago, Cemex's Information Technology Division was viewed as a support department for the sales function. Cemex did not have an adequate computing or telecommunications infrastructure. Only a few executives had personal computers and integrated systems were a distant dream. Lorenzo Zambrano, a grandson of the founder of the company, took over the business in 1985 and decided to apply information technology to these problems. He and Cemex chief information officer Gelacio lniguez developed a series of systems that would enable Cemex to manage unforecastable demand better than its competitors.

Zambrano and lniquez used ideas gleaned from…...

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