Bookshelf: The Supply-Based Advantage

Bookshelf: The Supply-Based Advantage

By Stephen C. Rogers AMACOM, 2009, 368 pages, $39.95

This book, subtitled "How to link suppliers to your organization's corporate strategy," draws largely from the author's 30-year career in strategic sourcing at consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. Although Rogers refers often to his P&G experiences, the book also looks at how other big manufacturers, such as Dow Chemical, Hewlett Packard and Nike, work with their suppliers. Not surprisingly, Toyota emerges as a best-in-class example of how an automotive OEM should operate; the Detroit Big Three, on the other hand, not so much.

The book sets out to explain how companies can:

  • achieve greater profitability by using suppliers to capture value beyond price;
  • develop a strategy that creates real, renewable benefits;
  • maintain flexibility in their supply chain to deal with unique business situations;
  • link supply execution into product marketing and fulfillment purposes.

Throughout the book, the author sprinkles many examples of how organizations should (and shouldn't) work together, with many of the stories culled from Wall Street Journal articles from recent years. His main goal is to help companies plan, design, build and implement a supply-based management approach without disrupting current efforts. His examples are well chosen, especially as they suggest that this process won't be easy but it is achievable, and can lead to long-term benefits.

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