subscribe: Posts | Comments | Email

Supply Chain Matters Book Review: Dynamic Supply Chains 3rd Edition

Comments Off on Supply Chain Matters Book Review: Dynamic Supply Chains 3rd Edition

From time to time Supply Chain Matters will feature book reviews which we believe would be of value to our extended global supply chain management community of readers. In this particular posting, we share our review of: Dynamic Supply Chains, 3rd Edition, How to design, build and manage people-centric value networks by John Gattorna. We especially wanted to cite this text in a review, given the many current challenges that various industry supply chain leaders are facing today.  Gattorna Book Supply Chain Matters Book Review: Dynamic Supply Chains 3rd Edition

Dr. John Gattorna is a well-known and respected author, thought leader and consultant on supply chain strategy and transformation. He has authored a number of prior texts including Living Supply Chains, published in 2006, Dynamic Supply Chain Alignment in 2009, and Dynamic Supply Chains published in 2010. In this third edition, Dr. Gottorna advocates that the supply chain has evolved to be a “network of networks.” While reluctant to introduce this new terminology in prior books, Dr. Gattorna now feels that global supply chains have moved inexorably towards the network concept model and the term now has far more significance

This author has read at least two of the former texts, and it was our intent to feature a Supply Chain Matters review of each. Unfortunately, we got so wrapped up in reading individual book chapters while keeping-up with our blog content, that we were remiss in sharing our impressions.

What interests us most concerning Dr. Gottorna’s writings are his well-articulated beliefs that supply chain transformation is driven primarily by people and organization and their interaction with processes and technology. The sub-title of his latest text was purposely chosen to connote that supply chains are evolving to be people-centric networks.  Dr. Gattorna’s arguments are further anchored in design thinking principles, which have become ever more important in addressing today’s complex and fast moving business challenges.

For this reviewer, in my many years as a practitioner, keen observer and supply chain analyst in the various aspects cross-functional supply chain management; I have come to appreciate the insights and observations brought forward in the Dynamic Supply Chain series of books.

For readers leading supply chain organizations or students aspiring to be leaders, who desire a comprehensive, timely, yet easy reading reference on supply chain strategy and design, than we certainly can recommend this book. The text provides a number of case study examples to reinforce the strategies and approaches that Dr. Gattorna advocates.

The book argues that enterprises require at least four or five supply chain configurations in order to properly service customers, and further outlines strategies of dynamic alignment within such supply chains. Supply chains are defined as:

Any combination of processes, functions, activities, relationships and pathways along which products, services, information and financial transactions flow in and between enterprises, in both directions, end-to-end.”

The flow in both directions is the most interesting insight.

Dr. Gattorna observes that the innate complexity of supply chains has led to two critical problems, one being that executives are blind to the presence of supply chains in their organization, and further, even when complex supply chains are recognized, they attack the complexity in inappropriate ways, confronting them with the wrong solutions.

He writes:

Cost-cutting, re-engineering, benchmarking and continuous improvement might have a place in the corporate arsenal, but they are not the answer to supply chain complexity. Seldom have these activities had the customer in the frame.  In short, there has been a lot of effort and activity for relatively little gain.”

In Chapter 12, there is a section: News alert! It’s time to listen to your suppliers, where the author argues that listening to suppliers and engaging them on their terms, not yours, is another manifestation of listening to customers, and often the ignored element in the human dimensions that propel supply chains.

Given many of our recent Supply Chain Matters commentaries reflecting on specific industry challenges occupying supply chain leaders today, the above arguments have special meaning.

In this latest book, Dr. Gattorna again delves in the critical importance that people will continue to play in supply chain transformation, and why in the book’s sub-title: “How to design, build and manage people-centric value networks;” people are so important.

Supply chains are “living systems” propelled by humans, their behavior and the decisions they make day to day.

Regarding the leveraging of technology, Dr. Gattorna observes that despite advances in technology, integration was always the mirage because some executives did not confront the real blockage, that being the functional organizational design prevalent in most organizations. On the topic of effective use of technology, the argument is that as more supply chains move toward a “network of networks” configuration, in which a source, manufacture and sell anywhere strategy evolves, end-to-end visibility becomes critical.

There are many other valuable insights brought forward in the 3rd Edition of Dynamic Supply Chains. While this author could take issue with some of the observations related to the specific role that technology can play, the book is by my observation, a valuable resource for supply chain strategy and transformation.

Readers can reference the full collection of books and publications authored by John Gattorna at this web link.

Bob Ferrari

Be Sociable, Share!
  • more Supply Chain Matters Book Review: Dynamic Supply Chains 3rd Edition

Comments are closed.