CXOs Challenged to Leverage Supply Chain as Competitive Advantage

New book reveals metrics, core disciplines for top performance; provides in-depth corporate supply chain profiles

Waltham, MA, and Mountain View, CA — September 21, 2004 — Supply chain specialists Shoshanah Cohen and Joseph Roussel, both partners at management consultancy Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM), have published an executive guide to supply chain practices to improve companies' competitive position.

Written for CEOs and other senior management team members, Strategic Supply Chain Management: The 5 Disciplines for Top Performance was designed to shed new light on the potential of the supply chain as a strategic differentiator.

Published by McGraw-Hill, the book provides in-depth profiles of organizations' supply chain management practices, documenting how such companies as Eli Lilly, Autoliv, Avon, Owens-Corning, the U.S. Department of Defense, General Motors and Seagate Technology have transformed their supply chains to realize competitive advantage.

"Too many senior officers don't view their supply chain as a strategic business asset," commented Cohen, co-author and partner at PRTM. "But when aligned with the overall business strategy, supply chain management provides major opportunities to impact both the top- and bottom-lines."

Said co-author and PRTM Partner Joseph Roussel, "Strategic Supply Chain Management is based on decades of supply chain experience with our clients at PRTM, and was written to help CEOs as well as other members of the executive team work together to improve overall performance."

The authors said the book has already received praise from supply chain experts and executives from organizations such as Dell, Stanford University, the Supply-Chain Council and BASF Corp. Jim Miller, vice president, Operations at Cisco Systems said, "This book will serve as a tool for those looking to transform their organization's supply chain into a sustainable competitive advantage."

According to the book, the five core disciplines for top supply chain performance are:

1. View your supply chain as a strategic asset
Many senior officers at leading companies already view the supply chain as a strategic asset, but for numerous organizations this still remains a great obstacle. The book describes how companies can set the agenda required to reconfigure supply chains for competitive advantage.

2. Develop an end-to-end process architecture
Cohen and Roussel provide guidance on how to develop supply chain processes and the supporting infrastructure that can be adapted as business strategy evolves. They also offer steps organizations can take to decrease supply chain complexity, which they said is the single greatest cause of poor return on investment in supply chain management.

3. Design your organization for performance
Success in supply chain management depends on putting the people in place who have the next generation of skills required by supply chain management, according to Cohen and Roussel. The book describes the business management focus required of today's supply chain managers and points the way toward implementing a high-performance organization.

4. Build the right collaborative model
Supply chain collaboration — where the skills and talents of outside partners are leveraged to create benefits for all involved — has, in many cases, failed to deliver on its promise, the authors said. The book describes the management framework upon which companies can build successful collaborative relationships.

5. Use metrics to drive business success
The authors help senior officers to more effectively use measurement as a management tool by describing how to choose metrics that enable their business strategy and drive desired behaviors.

Strategic Supply Chain Management also includes never before published best-in-class company performance data based on supply chain research conducted by PRTM's benchmarking subsidiary, The Performance Measurement Group LLC. The authors said the research illustrates the quantitative advantage already being achieved by top organizations.

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