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  The resources section contains the latest updates in the supply chain domain.  
Company Primary
(Supply Chain)
Strategy Operating Model Primary Focus of Operating Metrics Tailored Practices
(Production System)
Increase share of world automotive market; global production
• Just-in-time manufacturing,
proximity to points of
• Toyota equity ownership
and financing of suppliers
(e.g., Keiretsu)
Customer response
(e.g., product quality)
  • Quality control along the whole line
  • TPS methods used throughout the chain
    Continuous improvement, root-cause analysis , and ‘fool-proof’ manufacturing processes
  • Single Minute Die Changing techniques
  • Kanban and supplier synchronization
  • Collaboration among suppliers
Diversified and valueadded
provider of networked
solutions to businesses
• Single face to customer
• Extensive pre-and post
sales support
• Build-to-order manufacturing
Customer response (e.g., customer satisfaction, sales force productivity)
  • Consolidated customer fulfillment process
  • Launch ‘buffer’ manufacturing
    Centralized procurement
  • Consolidated and outsourced logistics
(Catalyst 4000)
Dominate the datacom networking market; Be an end-to-end solution
• Outsource physical chain
• Focus on software vis-à-vis
• Provide platform leadership
• Use M&A for acquiring
new technologies
Efficiency (e.g., costs)
  • Standardized operational protocols to support assimilation of acquired companies
  • Virtual manufacturing
    Quoting customers (long lead times to reduce noise)
  • Shift to pull system ( via Kanban)
Rolls Royce
(Aircraft Engines)

Compete globally and grow share and base;

Revenue growth
through increased services

• Full-line ‘engineered-toorder’
engine factories
• Outsource lower valueadded
• Supplier risk revenue sharing
• Full-line ‘engineered-toorder’ engine factories
• Outsource lower valueadded
• Supplier risk revenue sharing
  • Supplier councils and collaborative design
  • Use of system integrators to foster collaboration among suppliers
  • Lean manufacturing-based Rolls-Royce Production System
Maintain scale postacquisition
via organic
growth; maintain multiple superior brands
• Vertically-integrated company
vis-à-vis upstream exploration
and downstream
• Distribution/conversion from
the well-head to the pump
Efficiency (e.g., cost/bbl)
  • Run large refinery operations leveraging optimization methods
  • Integrate downstream operations
  • Global decision making via global organizations
Gillette Branding of innovative
consumer products
• Product innovation
• Promote on-shelf availability
Customer response
e.g., case fill rate and on-time delivery)
  • Packaging postponement
  • Cross-functional alignment
  • Partner demand and supply planning process alignment
Amazon Be the largest one-stop shopping site on the internet; offer customers low prices, convenience,
and a wide selection
of merchandise
• Internet retail with unit-level
picking and parcel fulfillment
• Multi-tier network of inventories
for distributed fulfillment
from partners to offer scale
and scope
Customer response
(e.g., availability)
  • Drop ship fulfillment from multi-tier partner network
  • Advanced batched-order warehouse picking, packing and shipping strategies
  • Customer lead-time ‘service-window’ management
Metro Group
(European Cash
and Carry)
To expand to be the
process and technology
leader in emerging
countries; to consistently
provide fresh, high-quality merchandise in every country

• Self-serve wholesale customers pick up goods at

• Replenish outlets using a
two-tier DSD cross-docking
distribution network

Efficiency (e.g., supply chain costs)
  • LTL distribution network based on extensive break-bulk, cross-docking, DSD and differentiated flow
  • Local versus centralized sourcing (perishables versus non-perishables)
  • Replicable, standardized distribution network setup processes for entry into emerging countries.
Novartis Globally market a
broad portfolio of
patent-protected and
generic chronic-illness products

• Vertically-integrated supply chain that includes chemical

• Production plants globally dispersed

Customer response
(e.g., time-to-launch)
  • Development of production prior to a drug’s approval
  • Drug substance used as the decoupling
    point for postponement and stored in ‘Turntable’ operations hub in Basel
  • Centralized planning and scheduling

Regardless of what type of vendor a reader nominated, there are clear themes within the commentaries that accompanied most of the ballots. As with our first report last year — and probably forever — the most common 10 qualities that users looked for in their vendors were as follows:

1. Cost savings and identifiable ROI — Most readers are being measured on their ability to cut costs and show returns on supply chain investments, so they appreciate vendors that help them in that regard.

2. Reliability and ability to meet commitments — Particularly in the case of carriers and other outsourced services, on-time performance, every time with no surprises was the key performance metric.

3. Inventory reductions and cycle time improvement — Supply-chain improvement is primarily measured by lowering inventories and increasing their velocity, so software and services that support this effort are winners.

4. Flexibility and problem solving ability — Few supply chains run smoothly, so the ability to adapt quickly to change without missing a step is highly prized, along with the ability to customize solutions to meet evolving needs.

5. Visibility — Whether it's shipments, orders or inventory, companies want technology and service providers that can provide real-time information.

6. Continuous improvement — Companies want help improving their own processes, and they expect vendors to constantly improve their own.

7. Ease of use — Both technology and service providers have to make their offerings intuitive so users anywhere can gain full benefits with no training.

8. Can-do attitude — The greatest accolades were bestowed on those vendors that took on any challenge and found a way to accomplish a goal without complaints or excuses.

9. Global coverage — While not a universal requirement among carriers and 3PLs, the ability to provide service backed by local knowledge anywhere in the world is important to large and small companies.

10. Comprehensive service — Particularly in the case of 3PLs and other logistics providers, companies appreciate vendors whose range of services covers as many needs as possible.

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