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Not Where, but How

In the round world, the most important question in developing a supply chain or process chain was to determine where it would be handled. As in real estate, the rule was "location, location, location." The costs of moving goods around and tracking information were so high that geography was the first concern. Then the concern was "where to do." In the flat world, the first concern is "what to do." After the task is identified, companies can find the best place in the world to do it. This is a shift in thinking about business processes. By making this shift, managers can better leverage their own capabilities and tap into the global capabilities of partners wherever they are in the world.

A new concern arises: not just where and what, but also "how to do" something. How is the best possible way to get this particular job done? What is the best path through a network of global possibilities? The total quality movement within the factory focused not only on doing things right, but on doing the right thing. Similarly, the network orchestrator looks at more than cost and efficiency. The orchestrator focuses on designing the best possible processes across a global network for delivering the right product to the right place at the right time at the right price.

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