Bookshelf: Start Pulling Your Chain! Leading Responsive Supply Chain Transformation

Bookshelf: Start Pulling Your Chain! Leading Responsive Supply Chain Transformation

By Donald J. Bowersox and Nicholas J. LaHowchic, OGI Enterprises, 2008, 358 pages, $49.95

As the title suggests, this book examines the shift manufacturers have taken from the traditional "push" model that anticipates consumer wants, to the "pull" model that responds to actual consumer orders. It takes as its premise that disruptive technologies -- in particular, digitizing (the transformation of organizations to digital enterprises) -- are changing the very nature of supply chains. "Digitizing," the authors write, "requires conceptualizing and implementing new and innovative business operating arrangements that consistently meet and exceed customer expectations."

Given the authors' extensive supply chain backgrounds (Bowersox is dean emeritus at Michigan State University while
LaHowchic led the supply chain efforts at the Limited before striking out on his own as a consultant), it's not surprising that they offer up a new supply chain model, accompanied by a new acronym: the EERS model (effectiveness, efficiency, relevancy and sustainability). Taken together, the four components offer a way of measuring value performance.

The book concludes with a forward-looking projection of the supply chain in 2025 and beyond. The most likely dimensions of radical but achievable change in 2025 include: talent and resource swapping; knowledge-dependent process automation; extreme postponement; transportation reinvention; green; alternative fuels; and nanogenome supply chain technology.

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