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TI’s Harris cuts costs by tracking temps

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For a 42,481-employee company such as Texas Instruments Inc., it always has been nearly impossible to keep track of managers’ hiring of temporary help and consultants. Now, a purchasing manager at TI is leading the charge to use the Internet to centralize all of those purchases for competitive advantage.

It is estimated that TI could save as much as $12.5 million in its first year operating the system. So says Luther Harris, manager responsible for administrative services and energy for the global semiconductor company.

In October, Harris will lead an effort to roll out to about 500 TI managers a Web-based e-commerce system produced by CascadeWorks Inc., San Francisco. This system will allow the managers to describe temporary employment and consultant jobs, obtain pricing and complete transactions with preferred TI suppliers, Harris said.

TI estimates it can save 5% of the $250 million it spends annually on temporary employees and consultants using a centralized system, Harris said.

"These days, there’s not a lot of information exchanged between buyers and temporary employment and consulting service providers," Harris said. "We’ll start catching data about consulting services, which will give us a chance to target our overall spend with the best companies. This is about developing a better understanding of what we are getting, and managing the way we pay for what we’re getting."

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