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1998-02-17 07:15:37


Replace 12,000+ Suppliers in 1999? No Problem!



Most large firms have around 15,000 suppliers. Most (probably all) of these suppliers are noncompliant.

BCE, the Canadian telecommunications firm, has 15,000 suppliers. It says it will fire any noncompliant supplier after mid-year, 1999. This is another way of saying that BCE will have to locate approximately 12,000 new suppliers in the second half of 1999. Maybe more. Maybe 15,000.

How? And how will GM do the same? And Ford. And every other large manufacturing firm?

Of course, the suppliers have suppliers. Their suppliers must be compliant. And so it goes.

Meanwhile, 90% of Canadian firms have yet to begin y2k repairs.

Rhetoric is one thing. Reality is something else. Reality is falling dominoes, all over the world.

This is from the Tortonto STAR (Feb. 8).

* * * * * * * * *

Many Canadian companies risk extinction unless every business leader, from top chief executive officers to corner-store owners, drafts a battle plan to eradicate the millennium bug, a federal task force warns.

For those who ignore this countrywide call to arms, the consequences will be dire, Jean Monty, task force chairman and president of telecommunications giant BCE Inc., said yesterday

``Time is running out fast . . . and for some it might already be too late,'' Monty told a Toronto news conference after releasing the group's final report, titled ``A Call for Action.''

``One faulty link can weaken the whole chain and break it.'' . . .

The report shies away from calling for any laws or regulations requiring formal disclosure. Those kinds of measures won't be needed, Monty said.

``You can't legislate because it's too complicated,'' Monty said, suggesting the market will force most businesses to shape up.

To prove his point, Monty said Montreal-based BCE will tear up contracts with any of its 15,000 suppliers if they haven't routed out their millennium bugs. ``By the middle of next year, we'll be looking for other suppliers.'' . . .

Still, a recent federal survey found more than half of Canadian businesses polled had no plans to deal with the millennium bug, although 90 per cent recognized the threat. . . .

In Ottawa, Industry Minister John Manley said there will be no government grants or tax credits to help businesses defray the costs of computer retro-fits, The Star's William Walker reported.


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