Monday, November 22, 2010

The Harvard Business Review on Supply Chain Management

An excellent collection of eight articles on Supply Chain Management published in the Harvard Business Review during 2003-04. While they are indeed dated, it is clear that they remain as relevant today as they were six years ago. After all, supply chain maturity - as a concept - remains a distant dream even in today's world.

The first two articles in this collection outline the importance of building collaborative partnerships with your suppliers, and use case studies from Wendy's and Honda Motor. The next article features a holistic approach undertaken by Zara - the much discussed fashion clothier from Spain - towards supply chain operations and supply chain costs.

The construct and inter-relatedness of agility, alignment and adaptability within a supply chain framework are well argued in the 'Triple-A Supply Chain' while the challenges of aligning incentives across the chain are well-fleshed in another piece.

My icing on the cake? Two articles on Toyota Production Systems show once and for all why replicating these principles is such a tall ask. Toyota, after all, has been a beacon of production excellence, and has freely shared its practices over the years. Yet other than Toyota Motor and its suppliers, no other organization till today has even come close to replicating their world-class manufacturing processes. This article explains why. [To those who may want to question Toyota's vaunted processes in the light of its recent vehicle recalls, I would argue that these incidents would, in all likelihood, turn out to be an issue of non-adherence & non-conformity to the very production systems it pioneered. Let us all wait for the results of the investigation to come out].

All in all, the 'Harvard Business Review on Supply Chain Management' is an insightful & stimulating compendium that will hold your interest and evince a deep appreciation of such an important topic.


Hari said...

Is this the review you are talking about?


Arun Kumar said...

Absolutely Hari. That is the book.