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Management article
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Reference no. P0601B
Authors: Rick Hoole
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Supply Chain Strategy", 2006

Abstract

An explosion in product variety and available configurations affects virtually every facet of a company, from research and development through sales, but nowhere is the impact greater than on the supply chain. Complexity makes a supply chain inflexible and inefficient. Fortunately, companies manage supply chain complexity by using metrics that track complexity, controlling the number of product offerings and prioritizing them in terms of market strategy and customer requirements, and designing products to simplify planning, supply, manufacturing, and distribution. Managers who can educate others about these issues also raise the corporate profile of supply chain management.

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Abstract

An explosion in product variety and available configurations affects virtually every facet of a company, from research and development through sales, but nowhere is the impact greater than on the supply chain. Complexity makes a supply chain inflexible and inefficient. Fortunately, companies manage supply chain complexity by using metrics that track complexity, controlling the number of product offerings and prioritizing them in terms of market strategy and customer requirements, and designing products to simplify planning, supply, manufacturing, and distribution. Managers who can educate others about these issues also raise the corporate profile of supply chain management.

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