Creating Supply Chains for Competitive Advantage


After reading this chapter you will be able to

  • Understand how one company created customized supply chains for its customers and in doing so created a strong competitive advantage for itself
  • See how to apply concepts and techniques presented in this book to respond to real-world supply chain challenges and opportunities
  • Gain some insight into how to leverage supply chain capabilities into longer-term alliances with the customers and suppliers with whom you do business

In many organizations supply chain management has gone from poor cousin to high strategy over the last 25 years. We have seen how companies such as Wal-Mart and Dell have risen to market prominence through their development and use of highly efficient supply chains. What can we learn from their success and the successes of other companies about creating supply chains that become major competitive advantages?

In this chapter we will use a case study of a fictitious company named Charlie Supply, Inc. to present ways in which a company can create supply chains that deliver key competitive advantages. We start with a description of Charlie Supply and its business goal. Then we discuss an initial business situation and a follow-on situation. For each situation there are exercises to work through that explore ways the company can recognize supply chain opportunities ...

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