Introduction

During dinner at a recent supply chain conference, a senior executive asked me about the latest thinking on how to improve global supply chain performance. Without hesitation I whispered, “Have you tried the sardine strategy yet?” Anticipating the puzzled look, I continued: “For schooling fish, staying together is a way of life. Fish in a school move together as one.”

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Photo by Ihoko Saito/Toshiyuki Tajima/Dex Image/Getty Images.

For schooling fish, the “move as one” trait is innate. Separation means likely death. For global supply chains, misalignment—failure to move as one—means poor service, high inventory, unexpected costs, constrained ...

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