The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World

The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World

The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World

The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World

Synopsis

The secret to succeeding in a disruptive world.

When CEOs think about the supply chain, it's usually to cut costs. But the smartest leaders see supply chain and sourcing for what they can be: hidden tools for outperforming the competition. Steve Jobs, upon returning to Apple in 1997, focused on transforming the supply chain. He hired Tim Cook--and the company sped up the development of new products, getting them into consumers' hands faster. The rest is history.

Across a range of industries, once-leading companies are in trouble: Walmart, IBM, Pfizer, HP, and The Gap to name a few. But others thrive. While competitors were shutting stores, Zara's highly responsive supply chain made it the most valued company in the retail space and its founder, the richest man in Europe. The success of TJX, Amazon, Starbucks, and Airbus, is fueled by supply chain and sourcing. Showcasing real solutions, The Supply Chain Revolution will:

Improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue • Make alliances more successful • Simplify and debottleneck the supply chain • Boost retail success by managing store investment • Drive excellence

Technology is disrupting business models. Strategies must change. The Supply Chain Revolution flips conventional thinking and offers a powerful way for companies to compete in challenging times.

Excerpt

Steve jobs and supply chain

Steve Jobs, after he returned to Apple in 1997, set himself three goals to turn around the then-struggling company: Improve Apple’s product pipeline, improve its marketing, and transform its supply chain.

Its supply chain! Why would Jobs—surely one of the century’s most visionary leaders—apply himself to something so mundane?

CEOs hardly ever think about supply chain, regarding them as having about the same amount of sex appeal as broccoli. (They only view one subject as being still less sexy: sourcing, the other subject of this book.)

Jobs cared about supply chains because he knew the price Apple was paying for having one that was so shoddy and slipshod. He was able to imagine the competitive advantage the company would reap by transforming it into something better.

At the time, the company had on hand two to three months of supplier inventory and another two to three months of finished goods, forcing Apple to anticipate consumer wants four to six months ahead. Jobs decided that even he was not smart enough to do that. He deputized Tim Cook to revamp the system.

Cook reduced inventory from months to days. He closed factories and warehouses, using contract manufacturers instead. He made longterm deals with suppliers to guarantee Apple’s supply of flash memory and other key components. He identified and removed bottlenecks in the supply chain. Because of his reforms, Apple became super fast at new product development and getting new products into the eager hands of consumers. As sales spiraled up, Jobs’s focus on Apple’s supply chain was vindicated.

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