On-Demand Webinar: New Rules For Transforming Supply Chains

What does it mean to “deliver customer value through flexible operations”?

David Simchi-Levi, professor of engineering systems at MIT, explained his ideas in a recent webinar. His research looks at how scientific thinking about everything from channels and pricing to procurement strategy and information technology is key to the flexibility companies need to compete today.

A webinar with the second part of the conversation will be held in two weeks (details below).

There are rules, he says, that “companies can follow to achieve a quantum leap in operations performance. You can think about these rules as, in some sense, laws of physics. These are always true independent of whether your supply chain is in North America, or you have a global supply chain, or you just operation in a relatively small market.”

Simchi-Levi’s new book Operation Rules: Delivering Customer Value through Flexible Operations, was published September 2010 by The MIT Press. See the table of contents.


In the one-hour webinar put on by Supply Chain Digest on November 30 called “Matching Products, Markets and Supply Chain Strategies,” Simchi-Levi presented the first part of his book’s ideas for 47 minutes and took questions for 12 minutes. The video includes audio and a PowerPoint-like presentation of 37 slides of the book’s key points. It can be watched for free.

“It would be useful for many readers to go all the way to the last chapter, because in the last chapter I talk about the common mistakes I have found that companies make in their operation and supply chain strategies,” said Simchi-Levi. “These common mistakes are not because people don’t necessarily understand some of the challenges, but because they focus on strategies that, on the surface, look very attractive but once you dive in to each one of these strategies, and you try to link the strategy with the customer-value-proposition, you see the type of problems they are likely to face in the future.”

A second webinar, Achieving Lower Cost and Reducing Risk through Supply Chain Flexibility, will take place February 2 at 11:30 EST. You can watch and participate for free, or watch the video on demand after the session. Simchi-Levi will use this session to “define flexibility, discuss specific and practical implementation methods and illustrate the impact through a number of case studies.”

MIT SMR published a Q&A with Simchi-Levi, who also is leader of the MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation, in the Winter 2010 issue. Closing quote:

“Five years from now, 10 years from now, the emphasis is going to be on technology. It’s going to be on processes that allow companies to monitor, to plan, to execute and then to adjust. It’s not going to be everybody talking about KPI, key performance indicators. It’s going to be about predicting where those indicators are going to be a week from now because you can see out onto your supplier chain and anticipate.”