Essentials of Supply Chain Management
All around us the networking and inter-networking of our economy is taking place. Companies that do business together are linking up electronically.They are doing this to better coordinate their actions and drive costs out of their business operations.
Business in this emerging networked world is as much about process as it is about product. This is because market forces, driven by the speed of communications that electronic networks now make possible, are making product life cycles shorter and shorter. Customer tastes and requirements change quickly. Product inventories are always in danger of becoming obsolete.
To counter this trend, companies are building up their expertise and efficiencies in the process of designing and building new products and in the process of delivering and servicing existing products. Companies that develop higher skill levels in these areas are clearly better able to ride the waves of change and profit from developments in the markets they serve.
The processes involved in the designing, building, and delivering of products to the customers that need them have come to be collectively referred to as supply chain management. No one company can develop high skill levels in all areas of supply chain management so companies are focusing on developing and building their particular strengths, their core competencies. Companies are defining the roles they want to play in the markets they serve and linking up with other companies that have complementary skill sets. This is the dynamic that is driving the formation of modern supply chains.
This book is written especially for two groups of readers. It is written for the senior executive who must decide what kind of supply chain their organization needs and how much to spend to get it. It is also written for the manager who is or soon will be responsible for building and operating some part of his/her company’s supply chain. The concepts and techniques presented here serve to create a common frame of reference that both senior executives and line managers can use when communicating with each other about supply chain management issues.
Chapters 1–3 provide an executive overview of the basic principles and the business operations that drive supply chain performance. Chapters 4–5 present techniques, technologies, and metrics to use in coordinating your operations with those of your supply chain partners. In Chapters 6 and 7 there is a pragmatic approach to use for defining supply chain opportunities and for designing and building the systems needed to effectively respond to those opportunities. The last chapter, Chapter 8, outlines the profit potential now available to companies that learn to harness the power of the real-time supply chain.
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