Author: Suman Sarkar
When CEOs think about the supply chain, it’s usually to cut costs. But the smartest leaders see supply chain and sourcing for what they can be: hidden tools for outperforming the competition. Steve Jobs, upon returning to Apple in 1997, focused on transforming the supply chain. He hired Tim Cook—and the company sped up the development of new products, getting them into consumers’ hands faster. The rest is history. Across a range of industries, once-leading companies are in trouble: Walmart, IBM, Pfizer, HP, and The Gap to name a few. But others thrive. While competitors were shutting stores, Zara’s highly responsive supply chain made it the most valued company in the retail space and its founder, the richest man in Europe. The success of TJX, Amazon, Starbucks, and Airbus, is fueled by supply chain and sourcing.
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