New Book Addresses 'Adaptive' Business Networks

Compiled By Jill Jusko Manufacturers looking for insight into improving their supply chains may want to pick up "Adapt Or Die: Transforming Your Supply Chain into an Adaptive Business Network" (2003, Wiley & Sons Inc.). The boldly titled book explains how and why the authors believe businesses need to move to an 'adaptive business network,' which they describe as necessary to reach new levels of business flexibility and efficiency. An adaptive business network is designed "to help businesses quickly respond to changing market conditions by capitalizing on the strengths of operating units within the company and trading partners outside the company," say authors Claus Heinrich, a member of the executive board of software giant SAP AG, Walldorf, Germany, and Bob Betts, who has worked in the IT field for more than 20 years. After introducing the adaptive business network and building the case for the solution, the 234-page book offers a step-by-step approach to its implementation. The goal of the first step, for example, is for companies to move from a traditional buyer-seller relationship to a partner-oriented relationship, say Heinrich and Betts. "Adapt Or Die" concludes with a dramatic warning equal to its audacious title. Start taking the steps now to shift to an adaptive business network, it says, or "risk extinction."

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