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By David J Silk (Auth.)

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In Chapter 2 we looked at the idea of information intensity as a way of deciding whether 'information' is important in the product or in the process. Porter et al. 8. It represents, diagramatically, the various activities within the organization which collectively make up the process of production. The 'primary' activities are directly related to the production of the good or the service. They are illustrated in the context of a manufacturing operation, with inbound materials, a production process, outbound goods and product sales and support.

36 Planning IT A second example of adding value to the product is Buick, a US car manufacturer. It developed an electronic product information center (EPIC) which was installed in its dealers' premises to give information (facts, figures and pictures) about Buick's and competitors' products. There was a new approach to helping the customer identify his need more clearly, and telling him how it could be satisfied. The service was extended to include second-hand cars, meeting the specification as closely as possible.

Power produced in this way can be used by the organization itself, or, in the liberalized market for electrical energy, sold into that market. There are now 500 CHP plants in the UK, producing about 3 per cent of total electricity demands (see HMSO, 1991). The CHP process is complex and needs close computer control, both in respect of the heating and power-generation functions. A different facet of the energy question is the possible trade-off between using energy to move physical goods and using IT/IS to move information instead.

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