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Harvard Business Review on Managing Supply Chains by Harvard Business Review

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Are You the Weakest Link in Your Company’s Supply Chain?

by Reuben E. Slone, John T. Mentzer, and J. Paul Dittmann

A SUPPLY CHAIN EXECUTIVE WALKED the long hallway to his CEO’s office one afternoon, quickly marshaling the arguments he would use to advocate for a global sales and operations planning, or S&OP, process. The goal: Convince the CEO that S&OP is indispensable to creating a world-class global supply chain, which in turn would become a major competitive advantage for the company. It seemed like a straightforward exercise, and the supply chain executive was prepared for any questions or challenges the CEO might throw at him. But as he neared the boss’s office, questions of his own leaped to mind: “Why do I have to sell this plan? Why ...

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