The Supply Chain Revolution

Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World

The Supply Chain Revolution

Author: Suman Sarkar
Pub Date: June 2017
Print Edition: $39.95
Print ISBN: 9780814438787
Page Count: 240
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814438794

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Simply put, a supply chain exists to take material from suppliers, move it through manufacturing, and then distribute it to customers or end users. In WWII, the end users were the army and the navy, which had to be supplied across multiple geographies through different transportation modes (land, sea, and air).

Just as well-functioning supply chains helped lead the United States to victory in WWII, so too did bottleneck or otherwise poorly functioning chains lead to defeat. It is no exaggeration to say that Hitler's setbacks at Stalingrad and in North Africa were in part the results of breakdowns in supply.

For decades after WWII, the military approach to supply chain management and sourcing served private industry perfectly well. Now, however, it does not. Across a wide spectrum of industries, once-potent companies are in trouble: Walmart, IBM, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Pfizer, HP. The business model of these companies is static, relying primarily on product differentiation and global expansion. As product differentiation and market expansion opportunities continue to be reduced, they are finding themselves at a competitive disadvantage. This problem cannot be addressed by spending more money on advertising or buying other businesses. It is in operational areas such as supply chain and sourcing that a competitive edge can be found.

So the bad news is that many famous business names now find themselves standing on a burning platform. The good news? The need for change can no longer be ignored.

We are entering a time of testing for business leaders: Those who can evolve will survive; those who can't won't. In an era when management will need to exploit every competitive advantage it can find, leaders who continue to think of supply chains and sourcing only in terms of cost reduction will be at a serious disadvantage. Success will come to leaders who learn to see them as potential drivers of revenue growth, innovation, and risk reduction.

Excerpted from THE SUPPLY CHAIN REVOLUTION: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World by Suman Sarkar. Copyright © 2017 by Suman Sarkar. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

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