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Featured Operations Articles


What Makes a Supply Chain Sustainable?

A sustainable supply chain requires more than just following the law, undertaking audits, or increasing transparency.


IoT Can Drive Big Savings in the Post-Sales Supply Chain

Frontiers |

For the IoT revolution to progress, data collection and data quality both must be greatly improved.


Creating Management Processes Built for Change

Your business may have processes that work now. Does it have agile processes to help it change?


Service Automation

A New Approach to Automating Services

September 13, 2016 | Mary C. Lacity and Leslie P. Willcocks

Early adopters of software robots exemplify how companies generate tangible benefits via service innovations in three ways: (1) by developing an approach to service automation supported by top management, (2) by initiating effective processes that deliver value to customers and employees, and (3) by building enterprise-wide skills and capabilities. Managers interested in capturing the benefits of service automation need to pursue all three avenues.


Supply Chain Transparency

What’s Your Strategy for Supply Chain Disclosure?

How much information should a company disclose about its supply chain? In addition to having to be lean, agile, and sustainable, today’s supply chains are increasingly the focus of growing attention from a variety of external stakeholders. These stakeholders often want information beyond what the company is legally obliged to disclose. But many companies have limited visibility of their supply chain information and have not fully considered their disclosure strategy.

Sharing Supply Chain Data in the Digital Era

Effectively managing and coordinating supply chains will increasingly require new approaches to data transparency and collaboration. Supply chains in coming years will become even more “networked” than they are today — with significant portions of strategic assets and core capabilities externally sourced and coordinated. Already, progressive companies are developing novel solutions to the dilemma of data transparency by using data “cleanrooms” and digital marketplaces.


Expanding Globally

Harnessing the Best of Globalization

September 13, 2016 | William R. Kerr

Globalization offers significant opportunities, yet most companies approach key decisions haphazardly. Although the complexity of globalization means managers rarely can fully analyze a global business opportunity before they need to act, the basic tensions in global business models are straightforward. A simple analysis of global ventures along these dimensions can help entrepreneurs develop clearer expectations and decision-making processes.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing


Is It Time to Rethink Your Manufacturing Strategy?

For a decade, China was automatically the answer to many manufacturing questions. That’s changing.


Second Thoughts on Second Sourcing

Multi-sourcing can lessen the risk of supply chain disruption. But it introduces risks of its own.


The Long-Tail Strategy for IT Outsourcing

IT outsourcing has emerged as an important strategic tool for acquiring cutting-edge innovation.


What Happens When You Outsource Too Much?

Managers must understand which competencies they can safely outsource and which they should manage internally.

Project Management