Chapter 4. Tuning and Transforming: Optimization and Reinvention

Two billion dollars.

That’s how much value was lost in one of the costliest supply-chain snafus in business history. The company behind the mess: Cisco. That’s right, we were responsible for one of the biggest fiascos in the history of manufacturing and logistics. Eight years later, it still serves as a powerful lesson worth studying. Here’s why.

In the annals of “supply chain disasters”—yes, there are accounts of such things—several business mishaps stand out. There’s the 1999 Hershey Foods meltdown that occurred after a new warehouse and inventory management system went awry. It thwarted Hershey from delivering Halloween candy on time and cost the chocolate giant more than $150 ...

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