Account management in the Supply Chain

A book about customer-oriented collaboration in the Supply Chain sounds very promising, like an inspiring subject. For a long time, major multinationals in particular focused on chain control of internal collaborations with sister and parent organisations.

Now, finally, we are at the dawn of an age that focuses on the relationship between actual suppliers and customers, with the exchange of actual money, not purely bookkeeping transactions. A book like ‘The Relationship-Driven Supply Chain: Creating a Culture of Collaboration throughout the Chain’ should respond to this evolving focus. Instead, the two British authors apparently feel the need to spend a third of the book looking back on the development of Supply Chains, through endless lists (with annoying bullet points) and tiresome qualitative tables.

It seems that the authors tried to collect as many PowerPoint presentations about Supply Chain Management as they could and stuff them in a book. And then, when there is a risk that the book may actually become interesting, the persevering reader is given a number of uninspiring, often anonymous cases to read, and a plainly unrealistic, insipid dialogue between a ‘smart’ Supply Chain Manager and a traditional, ‘dumb’ buyer. Finally, the proposed model for collaboration between purchaser and supplier looks like it was drawn by a six-year-old. This topical and intriguing subject of collaboration deserves so much more than what it gets in this book.