Academic journal article The Journal of Business Forecasting

Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation

Academic journal article The Journal of Business Forecasting

Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation

Article excerpt

Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation By Lora M. Cecere and Charles W.Chase, Jr. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2013, pp., 303. | Price: $30.83.

The objective of this book is to show how to build an efficient and flexible supply chain, which is relevant not only today but also tomorrow. Over thirty years, market dynamics have substantially changed. The market is now demand driven, not supply driven. The number of products has exploded, channels of distributions have proliferated, life cycle of products has shortened, and consumers are less loyal and more demanding. In some cases, lead time exceeds the life cycle of a product, giving only one shot to make or break. Furthermore, customers now order less but more frequently. All these have impacted the supply chain. The authors of this book outline the structure of a supply chain, which is not only efficient but also adaptable to changes.

In a demand-driven market, the best supply chain has to be driven by demand, not supply. The authors call this a demand-driven supply chain, wherein companies have to first improve demand planning (demand forecasting and demand management), which can be done through demand sensing, shaping, and translation. This will require dealing with a tremendous amount of data resulting from social media and atthe-counter sales (POS) to determine what is happening in the marketplace so that appropriate actions can be taken in a timely manner. To do this, we need professionals who know how to deal with such data, and the state-of-the art technology to manage them. Additionally, the authors point out that about one-fifth of sales now come from new products, which are risky, yet very rewarding. …

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