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The Economist Guide To Supply Chain Management by Jacoby, David

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6 Rationalisation: competing on low cost

Low cost is a basic requirement of doing business in the 2000s. Whether measured in landed cost (the delivered cost including freight and duties), total cost (the cost over the life of the product or service) or “should-cost” (what the cost would be if all the cost elements were set to the lowest cost level), cost and therefore price must be competitive or customers will take their business elsewhere. No surprise then, that executives such as Barbara Kux, member of the Group Management Committee at Philips Electronics, espouse the importance of making things “better, faster, and cheaper”. Moreover, the traditional emphasis on cost has been accentuated in recent years by global competition and the extraordinary ...

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