Preface to The Supply Chain Management Casebook
Objectives of the Book
Over the past three decades, supply chain management has become firmly entrenched as a vital area of emphasis for companies. Many companies have risen to the top of their respective industries by forging effective supply chain management techniques into strategic weapons. In short, supply chain management means effectively handling the relationships between one’s suppliers and buyers. But in practice, the field covers a wide range of issues, including supplier selection, purchasing, risk management, logistics, distribution, pricing, demand and supply management, and channel coordination.
Case studies remain a popular and effective means to study and analyze real business decisions. This book has been designed to provide a variety of interesting supply chain challenges. Taken as a whole, the 30 cases in the book touch on many of the important supply chain issues facing modern organizations. Individually, each case provides one or more self-contained challenges for management, leaving room for the reader to ponder the next best steps. Most of the cases are primarily qualitative in nature, while more than one-third of them have been specifically designed for quantitative analysis.
One of the most attractive features of the book is the truly global team of contributors. Twenty of our cases are written by authors currently residing outside the United States, including the countries and territories of Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Taiwan. Not only are many supply chains global in the first place, but by reading through these cases we see that managers around the world face many of the same challenges as everyone else.
This book has been designed to appeal to upper-division undergraduate or MBA-level courses in supply chain management or operations management. University instructors who adopt the book will have access to an accompanying set of electronic teaching notes for the cases, including suggested solutions for the quantitative elements. We also expect that supply chain managers and business professionals in general will find the book to be of interest. The cases are full of ideas for addressing sticky supply chain issues. And it always helps to consider how to address challenges before being faced with them.
Although some are lengthy, many of the cases in this book are intentionally designed to be relatively short and focused, allowing the reader to delve directly into the issues at hand. This format also facilities a wide menu of choices for instructors to assign combinations of short and long cases that suit their needs. All the cases have been written as a basis for class discussion rather than to necessarily imply either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation—that is for the reader to determine.