Slave (to PC Inventory) No More By Janet Pinkerton Building PCs for customer orders taken at retail: Manufacturers want it. Retailers want it. This next step in supply chain management could mean more precious margin--for vendors and, maybe, retailers. Ah, but to do BTO well: to offer the customer what they want, keep component inventory tight but available, deliver on time, maintain quality assurance/quality control, build the volume needed to make it all worthwhile. Therein lies the challenge. Circuit City is readying a multivendor build-to-order pilot that is to launch in August, with Compaq, Hewlett Packard, IBM and NEC Packard Bell slated to particpate.
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