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Harvard Business Review on Managing Supply Chains by Harvard Business Review

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The Triple-A Supply Chain

by Hau L. Lee

DURING THE PAST DECADE and a half, I’ve studied from the inside more than 60 leading companies that focused on building and rebuilding supply chains to deliver goods and services to consumers as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Those firms invested in state-of-the-art technologies, and when that proved to be inadequate, they hired top-notch talent to boost supply chain performance. Many companies also teamed up to streamline processes, lay down technical standards, and invest in infrastructure they could share. For instance, in the early 1990s, American apparel companies started a Quick Response initiative, grocery companies in Europe and the United States touted a program called Efficient Consumer ...

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