Operations

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Understanding the ‘Bullwhip’ Effect in Supply Chains

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Today's Wall Street Journal  has a noteworthy front-page article about the "bullwhip" effect, as it is starting to play out in businesses as the economy recuperates. What's the bullwhip effect? The WSJ article explains:
"This phenomenon occurs when companies significantly cut or add inventories.

Image courtesy of Wal-mart.

Outcome-Driven Supply Chains

When properly designed and operated, the traditional supply chain has offered customers three primary benefits—reduced cost, faster delivery and improved quality. But managers are increasingly recognizing that these advantages, while necessary, are not always sufficient in the modern business world. The supply chain should be designed and managed to deliver one or more of six basic outcomes: cost, responsiveness, security, sustainability, resilience and innovation.

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Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Your Next Supply Chain

How have strategies for supply chain design changed in recent years? What are the forces most profoundly shaping them now? What kinds of models have emerged for companies to consider, choose among or learn from?

In this pair of twinned interviews, MIT professor and entrepreneur David Simchi-Levi and MIT professor Charles Fine — two of the world’s leading thinkers on supply chain and value chain design — offer answers to those questions and others.

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Supply Chain Special Report: Advance Preview

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We're putting the finishing touches on the winter issue of MIT Sloan Management Review, which we'll publish in early January. Today we're posting an element from our special report on supply chains, about Outcome-Driven Supply Chains. In it, Steven A. Melnyk, Edward W. Davis, Robert E.

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Debating Offshoring’s Impact

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  • Read Time: 1 min 

Too often, discussions of contemporary economic issues end up either overly simplified for popular consumption -- or too jargony and technical to be followed by anyone but economists. A new book, Offshoring of American Jobs: What Response from U.S.

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Toyota’s Secret: The A3 Report

How does Toyota solve problems, create plans, and get new things done? Company managers use a tool called the A3, named after the international paper size on which it fits, as a key tactic in sharing a deeper method of thinking. This tactic and style of processing information lies at the heart of Toyota’s sustained success.

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Collaborating With the Right Partners

“Not invented here” has become an outdated mind-set in the modern corporation, as shrinking product life cycles and rapid technological evolution have opened corporate attitudes toward external research and development partners. Yet three business school professors conclude that companies should be careful when selecting the partners with whom they collaborate.C

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The High Cost of Political Influence

“Political influence may come at the cost of lower productivity,” explains Anders Olofsgård, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. “Politicians are expecting something in return from you. One way to pay back politicians is through jobs. So you may be locked into keeping higher employment than you otherwise might be.” Olofsgård and co-author Raj M. Desai, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, argue that bloated staffs are no bargain for any company.

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