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Harvard Business Review on Managing Supply Chains by Harvard Business Review

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What Is the Right Supply Chain for Your Product?

by Marshall L. Fisher

NEVER HAS SO MUCH TECHNOLOGY and brainpower been applied to improving supply chain performance. Point-of-sale scanners allow companies to capture the customer’s voice. Electronic data interchange lets all stages of the supply chain hear that voice and react to it by using flexible manufacturing, automated warehousing, and rapid logistics. And new concepts such as quick response, efficient consumer response, accurate response, mass customization, lean manufacturing, and agile manufacturing offer models for applying the new technology to improve performance.

Nonetheless, the performance of many supply chains has never been worse. In some cases, costs have risen to unprecedented ...

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