The New Supply Chain Agenda

Most CEOs know intuitively that profit drives shareholder value. Yet many of them fail to realise that this begins with a superior supply chain, which then translates into economic value and hence shareholder value. With such statements, ‘The New Supply Chain Agenda’ leaves us in no doubt that it is intended for senior executives in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors, as well as for supply chain managers who want to convince their board of directors of the strategic importance of their particular field. A Du Pont diagram and a chart showing research results from Credit Suisse help to clearly demonstrate the relationship between shareholder value and supply chain performance.

Sales & Operations Planning and working capital management

This book includes a collection of believable anecdotes, painting a picture of how life is in boardrooms around the time of the quarterly results and how senior executives turn to the supply chain to achieve the necessary financial gains. The authors have succeeded in making topics such as product range rationalisation, Sales & Operations Planning and working capital management accessible, and often use case studies to illustrate their points more clearly (including an extensive Whirlpool case).

The only criticism of this book is that it does not include any mention of the ‘Star Wars’  comments made by the authors during an interview to promote the publication. In the interview, Reuben Slone said that companies should stop squeezing their suppliers – a villainous act which would be befitting of Darth Vader from ‘Star Wars’ – and should instead adopt a long-term, collaborative approach to the supply chain, which would be worthy of Luke Skywalker.

‘The New Supply Chain Agenda. The 5 Steps That Drive Real Value’ (2010), by Reuben E. Slone, J. Paul Dittmann and John T. Mentzer. Published by Harvard Business Press, 216 pages, € 32.99

Rating: ****