Supply Chain as Strategic Asset: The Key to Reaching Business Goals
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More About This Title Supply Chain as Strategic Asset: The Key to Reaching Business Goals


Hands-on guidance for creating competitive advantages through strategy realization

How can your supply chain create competitive advantages and help achieve business goals? Drawing from the author's abundant research and analysis, this resourceful book shows how aligning the supply chain design with business strategy helps build competitive capabilities, prioritize capital investments, and takes your firm beyond the industry best-practices to create competitive advantages, not just competitive parity. Summarizing the current literature on business and supply chain strategies, this book provides path-breaking new direction to build your own winning supply chain strategy. Real-life cases show how this strategy alignment has produced results for the most successful companies and how it can be achieved in your firm.

  • An overview of the concepts of business strategy, the current thinking on supply chain strategy and why it is inadequate to drive competitive advantage through supply chain design
  • Process for establishing your own supply chain strategy to build competitive advantage
  • The place of technology in creating business capabilities in modern corporations and why managing technology should be a core competence and an integral part of strategy planning
  • Step-by-step direction and examples for creating strategy alignment and designing a supply chain that goes beyond supporting your operations
  • Case studies including Wal-mart, Cemex, Kmart, HP, Dell, and others

Consolidating the lessons learned along with implementation guidance, Supply Chain as Strategic Asset is the must-read road map for designing a supply chain that will be vital in achieving your business goals.


VIVEK SEHGAL is Senior Director of Research at Manhattan Associates, a global, best-of-breed supply chain solutions provider.??Prior to working with Manhattan, Vivek worked for Fortune 20 companies, including The Home Depot and GE, in various leadership roles in their supply chain technology groups.??He has spoken??at several industry events in the past and??is a??current member of the Science Advisory Board at Manhattan Associates, working with the industry to define new optimization opportunities in supply chain solutions. Vivek has authored Enterprise Supply Chain Management(Wiley) and several articles in supply chain journals. His blog is available at


Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction xxi

Chapter 1: Planning and Realizing the Goals of a Business Strategy 1

Strategy 2

Strategy Realization through Functional Capabilities 3

Strategy Planning: The Missing Link 5

Technology as the Enabler 8

Creating Competitive Advantage through Functional Capabilities 10

The Alignment of Business, Functional, and Technology Strategies 12

Chapter 2: Understanding Strategy 14

What Is Strategy? 14

Attributes of Strategy 19

Levels of Strategy Planning 25

The Strategic Horizon of Impact 28

Chapter 3: Concepts of Business Strategy 33

Porter’s Generic Strategies 34

The Resource-Based View 43

Capabilities-Based Strategies 46

Creating Advantages by Viewing the Corporation as the Sum of Its Components 51

Creating Advantages through the Value Chain 55

Developing Competitive Advantages through Capabilities 60

Understanding Advantage 67

Beyond the Business Strategy: Functional and Deployment Strategies 73

Chapter 4: Exploring Functional Strategy 75

What Is Functional Strategy? 77

Why Is the Functional Strategy Important? 86

Steps in Creating the Functional Strategy 89

Chapter 5: Current Thinking on Supply Chain Strategy 105

Current Thinking on Supply Chain Strategies 106

Understanding the Supply Chain Sphere of Influence 123

What Drives Your Supply Chain? 126

Chapter 6: Creating a Functional Supply Chain Strategy 139

The Effect of an Industry Segment on Supply Chain Design 140

The Effect of a Business Strategy on Supply Chain Design 142

The Effect of the Primary Driver on Supply Chain Design 143

Supply Chain Strategy and Business Strategy 148

Chapter 7: Technology Strategy 164

What Is Technology Strategy? 167

Components of a Technology Strategy 171

Why Develop a Technology Strategy? 179

Technology Strategy and Organization 185

Process Overview and Deliverables for Creating Technology Strategy 188

Chapter 8: Supply Chain Nirvana: Bringing It All Together 203

What Is Supply Chain Nirvana? 205

Defining a Supply Chain Strategy That Works 207

What Can a Well-Aligned Supply Chain Strategy Do for You? 226

How to Get There 236

Keeping It All Together 250

Appendix A: Sample Artifacts for Creating an Effective Supply Chain Strategy 255

Appendix B: An Overview of the Scope of the Supply Chain in Modern Corporations 272

Supply Chain Planning 275

Supply Chain Execution 276

Supply Chain Collaboration 279

Appendix C: The Supply Chain and Corporate Financial Performance 283

Cost of Sales 284

Inventory 287

Working Capital 289

Tune Your Supply Chain for Financial Performance 290

Notes 293

Bibliography 297

About the Author 299

Index 301