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Advanced Supply Chain Management

How to Build a Sustained Competitive Advantage

Charles C. Poirier


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Supply chain management-the means by which firms engaged in creating, distributing, and selling products can join forces to establish a supply network with an unbeatable competitive advantage-has emerged as one of the most powerful business-improvement tools around. Companies all over the world are pursuing supply chain as the latest methodology to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, better utilize assets, and build new revenues. In this fiercely competitive environment, the gap between firms that are succeeding and those that aren't is rapidly expanding. In Advanced Supply Chain Management, leading expert Charles Poirier presents the four levels of accomplishment that separate the successful firms from the "wannabes." He details these four levels, from the beginning stages to the most advanced techniques and processes. Each level is described in detail so a firm can calibrate itself and determine what work remains to be done to close the gap.
Many firms are stuck in the first stage of supply chain management, marked by a myopic internal focus that may result in great short-term results but often misses the mark in the increasingly important global marketplace. Poirier outlines the process by which aggressive firms graduate through the next three stages, moving from an internal focus to an external one as they partner with suppliers and customers, first to achieve savings, then to build a special advantage within a specific market.
Firms that reach the fourth stage learn how to establish the external alliances necessary to build the essential networks. Poirier provides a model for building this advanced stage, including the construction of value chain constellations that deliver benefits that elude lower-level competitors and the implementation of communications Intranets, Internets, and privileged Extranets. He also includes action studies that illustrate what has worked for companies around the world, what has not, and why.
By demonstrating how successful firms have achieved their high status and describing the process it takes to reach their level, Advanced Supply Chain Management gives readers the means to calibrate their own progress and determine a more proactive and cooperative plan for becoming the first in their industry to attain supply chain excellence.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781576750520, 240pp.

Publication Date: February 12, 1999

About the Author

Charles C. Poirier is the recognized expert on supply chain management and is a partner in the CSC National Supply Chain Practice. He is an industry veteran with nearly forty years' experience in a variety of positions, including CEO of a $450 million company.