IBM is cooperating with Egypt's tobacco monopoly, Eastern Tobacco company, to introduce high tech into its seven factories. The computerization project was initiated two years ago and is to be completed by 2004, touching on every aspect of Eastern Tobacco's production, marketing and finances.
With its numerous facilities spread throughout the country, Eastern Tobacco faced inter-communication difficulties in recent years. The IBM-engineered project aims to address this problem and reorganize production in general.
The centerpiece is a new computer system built around IBM's AS-400 server, a mid-range computer designed for commercial applications.
The upgrade means more than just new hardware. IBM is working closely with Eastern Tobacco's newly formed, nine-person IT department to integrate the new equipment into everything the company does, and to find ways to cut costs and simplify production.
IBM is building on its international experience, including a similar project for Phillip Morris in the United States.
"Our intention is to re-engineer the whole company, to create a comprehensive link from the supplier to the end user," IBM general manager for Egypt, Amr Tawfik, told Business Today.
He added the changes would be far-reaching and comprehensible to employees. Once the system is in place, Tawfik sayed, Eastern Tobacco "won't need a highly technical IT department to run it." — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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