Advantech to become a globally integrated enterprise

Aug. 27, 2007

Cincinnati, Ohio – August 24 – Advantech Industrial Automation Group plans to become a globally integrated enterprise (GIE) in order to meet the challenges and opportunities driven by the advent of Web 2.0 and an increased global business climate.

K.C. Liu, CEO of Advantech, says “The emergence of Web 2.0 acts as a catalyst for transnational competition, meaning that the second age of the web combined with increasing industrial globalization is a paradigm shift to be embraced rather then feared. Therefore, it is necessary for entrepreneurs to think hard about redistributing and recombining all their resources in order to restructure and reorganize successfully; and to re-think technological development strategies. Furthermore, enterprises must wisely deploy their manpower by devoting enterprise resources in the most strategically competitive places.”

In the popular book – “The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations” by Ori Brafman, the spider and starfish analogy refers to having a decentralized structure that permits regeneration. Using this analogy, Advantech presently adopts a multilayered structural organization known as a Spider – this allows every department to focus exclusively on its own tasks with operations and decision-making centered on headquarters. The disadvantage of this arrangement is that the company cannot command and respond to regional market demands as readily as it wishes. So Advantech plans to adopt a Starfish structure that fully integrates all department functions from the headquarters with regional business units based on decentralization and open communication. Regional market-oriented sales teams will focus on their own specific vertical market; Design-To-Order-Services (DTOS) can supply customers with tailored products and services using the same back-office infrastructure and all divisions will economize on resources and improve efficiency.

Advantech has setup a Customer Fulfillment Center to effectively allocate resources, systemize departmental tasks and coordinate assignment workflows for each division. The goal is to pre-empt the competition by shortening product/service delivery time and improve overall customer service efficiency. Coupled with product integration, this new arrangement has helped Advantech to better define its product development direction, access new markets more quickly, and improve its product design quality. Through close collaboration with vertical application solution partners, Advantech can advance product competitiveness and meet customers’ expectations.

Advantech has set up a “Wiki” website called AdvantechWiki as a collaborative tool to promote inter-departmental innovation and knowledge sharing and to amass creativity, technological research and development experience. AdvantechWiki encourages data collection, knowledge sharing and intelligent communication between cross-regional and inter-departmental personnel. The company wishes to accelerate organizational reformation and R&D efficiency by promoting knowledge sharing forums through AdvantechWiki.

An all-round structural reorganization will be launched in second half of 2007 to stimulate direct marketing deployment and strategic development; the goal is to create a more globalized and integrated organization. Advantech will continue its strong commitment to invest in R&D and further develop branding strategies that exploit fresh market opportunities. Through strengthened, wide-ranging customer services, Advantech anticipates continued growth and expansion by facing the challenges of global competition.