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Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation by Charles W. Chase, Jr., Lora M. Cecere

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CHAPTER 1

Why Bricks Matter

We had to learn supply chain practices. We then had to unlearn them as technologies evolved, and then relearn them based on new capabilities.

—First-Generation Supply Chain Pioneer

The story is old. When generations come and go, at the end, the bricks remain. They last through the ages. They are a symbol of prosperity, solidity, and strength. Found in many forms, they give a culture countenance. This book is a variation on this old theme. In the end, bricks matter.

The foundation of business is built on bricks. Manufacturing plants, warehouses, and sales operations centers are built to deliver on a brand promise. Each is run by people. Collectively, their effectiveness can make or break a company's ability to fulfill customer promises. To drive success, these processes need to be synchronized. They need to be carefully architected and adapted to meet strategy. The design has changed over time as business complexity increased.

In business, while there are fads, true value is built through continuous improvement of processes to deliver real products to real people along with market differentiating services to build brands. To make year-over-year progress, companies learn—although, sometimes the hard way—that the ability to successfully deliver on the brand promise requires proficiency in supply chain management.

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I found Rome a city of bricks and left it ...

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