Overview of Information Management at ImageStream
ImageStream does business in the midst of an information driven society in a telecommunications sector innovating and changing at an increasingly fast pace. Every week, the company encounters new equipment and services from existing players and new entrants in the market. The rapid change in ImageStream's market means that ImageStream must constantly update its specifications, its comparison information, pricing and a host of other materials that the company uses.
The Death of Distance
In her book, Frances Cairncross (2001) postulates that "the death of distance as a determinant of the cost of communications will probably be the single most important economic force shaping society in the first half of the next century." ImageStream recognizes that the death of distance has significant implications for itself and its channel partners. With ubiquitous Internet access and a truly globally connected economy, channel sales organizations like the one operated by ImageStream become round-the-clock information distribution machines.
ImageStream operates a just-in-time manufacturing facility and an extremely decentralized sales organization where channel partners take the bulk of sales inquiries. The Internet enables ImageStream to link with contract assembly plants, factories, software and hardware engineers at vendor sites, distributors, retailers, and, ultimately, customers. The company does not have to maintain all of its expertise in-house.
Managing the Channel through Information Distribution
ImageStream's sales and distribution channel, from raw material procurement to final delivery to customers, touches virtually every piece of information in the company at some point. ImageStream must maintain and distribute on-demand information including:
Inbound vendor shipment tracking
Costs of goods sold/bills of material
List, reseller and distributor pricing levels based on COGS
Comparison information between ImageStream and other competitors
Product service plan matrix
Sales order status
Back order reports
Part usage forecasts
Invoicing and accounts receivable