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McKesson Corp.’s medical and surgical division had too many distribution centers and its logistics were problematic. It approached the predicament a year ago by gathering data, testing variables and simulating scenarios, all to increase productivity. What McKesson executives concluded was that the company’s distribution system was costly and inefficient, and the only way to fix it was to coordinate its supply chain management with its customers and suppliers. Suddenly, the Web was in the mix, and McKesson brought in Web-enabled software first to help it with planning and then ultimately to implement collaboration with its trading

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