Flow: How the Best Supply Chains Thrive
Published: July 2022© 2022
Imprint: Rotman-UTP Publishing
Page Count: 280 Pages
Illustrations: 9 b&w figures, 1 b&w table
Dimensions: 6.25 x 9.25
280 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.75 in, 9 b&w figures, 1 b&w table
With supply chain disruptions increasingly discussed in the media and impacting our daily lives, Flow offers an important framework and solutions for remedying the rampant delays and bottlenecks that exist in global supply chains.
This book describes the concept of flow, which evokes physical properties that exist in nature, such as the flow of electricity, the flow of materials, and the flow of time. In terms of process optimization, flow encompasses the integration of end-to-end supply chains and the movement toward relocation of global supply bases to nearshore/onshore geographies. Achieving flow is essential for organizations seeking to improve their supply chain performance in a time of increasing disruption.
This book highlights the high-level effectiveness of business strategies that use predictions based on the sequence of world events, global supply chains, and data by exchanged smart technologies. By broadly applying physical laws to the global supply chain, Rob Handfield and Tom Linton explore the impact of supply chain physics on global market policies, such as tariffs, factory location, pandemic response, supply base geographies, and outsourcing.
The authors provide specific recommendations on what to do to improve supply chain flows, and include important insights for managers with examples from companies such as Biogen, General Motors, Siemens, and Flex with regard to their response to COVID-19. Flow is an important resource not only for procurement and supply chain management professionals, but for any manager concerned with enterprise-level success.
1. Supply Chain Flows and Immunity
2. Time, Velocity, and Immunity
3. Thermodynamics and Evolutionary Flow
4. Compression: The Localization of Supply Chains
5. Freedom of Flow: The Adoption of Digital Dexterity
6. Electrical Current
7. Future Supply Chain Flows
"Rob Handfield and Tom Linton shed a bright light on the most overlooked reality in the supply chain world: movement is money. This supply chain duo makes a compelling case that we will face big challenges in our increasingly VUCA world, where the physical realities – and physics – of supply chains will be pushed to the limit. A big takeaway is clear: the stakes are high, but the rewards will be great for those who can build and maintain resilient supply chains."Jason Schenker, Author of Futureproof Supply Chain and Chairman of The Futurist Institute
"This is a great read for operations strategists and practitioners alike, who are looking to understand how to think through and navigate complexities of supply chain design. Leaning on creative parallels to fundamental laws that govern science, the book provides great insights into how one should think of optimization and evolution of supply chains in today’s world."Joydeep Ganguly, Chief Operating Officer, Gilead Science
"The use of flows to explain and structure supply chain strategies and operations offers a powerful lens to integrate theories originated from physical laws with the evolving realities of supply chains. It provides the reader with insights and perspectives on how to innovate in this dynamic world."Hau Lee, Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology, Stanford Graduate School of Business
"Linton and Handfield provide another, and timely, insightful look into the roots of supply chain performance. In a post-global world the ‘laws’ they reveal are essential reading to those wanting to understand or practice supply chain management."Yossi Sheffi, Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of A Shot in the Arm
"By recognizing our supply chain’s composition, learning its behaviors and optimizing it responsibly, we can be more resilient to unforeseen challenges and get ahead of discoverable, predictable changes."Bob Murphy, VP Supply Chain & Chief Procurement Officer, IBM
"Linton and Handfield continue to challenge conventional supply chain heuristics. Even this deep into the twenty-first century, supply chains are too frequently understood – and managed – as a sequence of transactions. And they are too frequently managed retroactively, in response to events, rather than proactively, anticipating events. Applying principles from the physics of flow systems, the authors argue that our supply networks cannot remain rigid and static, but must evolve over time. This new conceptual approach importantly includes not just anticipating supply disruptions (i.e., supply risk) but also understanding changing demand signals, an often overlooked element of managing supply networks. Finally, this new way of thinking shifts attention from last century’s static financial metric – i.e., cost. In this new way of understanding supply systems, the authors focus on free cash flow. An emphasis on cost ignores the many other ways in which companies inadvertently destroyed value, by increasing inventories, or ignoring obsolescence, or failing to understand how freight delays extended the cash conversion cycle. In contrast, free cash flow incorporates all these elements of working capital, allowing companies to understand better how their supply ecosystems create value holistically."Tom Derry, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Supply Management
"Once again, Linton and Handfield provide great insight for today’s C-suite, enabling them to build out actionable pathways for improved supply chain decision making. The authors’ expertise and wisdom is shared throughout the book and is powerful for accelerating the flow and optimizing financial results."Chris Collier, retired Chief Financial Officer, Flex
"Supply chains are the most complex system of transactions in our human civilization. Market principles of supply and demand bring them to life, but the physics of flow and friction explain their behavior. In a world threaded with connectivity but constrained by borders, we need sophisticated thinking to find the patterns that will shape the future of supply chains – and by extension, the world economy and geopolitics as well. This paradigm shifting new book by Handfield and Linton could not be better timed or reasoned."Parag Khanna, Founder of FutureMap and author of Connectography
"In Flow, the authors raise some innovative, provocative, and in many instances counter-intuitive ideas on how companies can enhance their supply chain efficiency. This is a very valuable contribution to finding long-term supply chain solutions."Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Dell Technologies
"This is the second collaboration between Tom Linton, who has led one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the world, and Rob Handfield, a thoughtful and creative academic. They use the lens of physics to develop powerful insights on important issues in supply chains, like the need for speed, visibility, and localization. This book is an excellent read for anyone who wants to see the supply chain of the future, now."Marshall L. Fisher, Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
"This is an excellent book all supply chain practitioners should read to survive and thrive in this complex and interconnected world we now live in. There are many great real-life examples which are excellent and relevant."Daniel Koh, VP Global Strategic Sourcing, HPE
"Supply chain impacts grab the headlines and elevate logistics visibility as a business imperative. In this impressive illumination of the modern supply chain, Tom Linton and Rob Handfield explain the importance of thinking through this global movement of things by addressing the underlying rules that make it work."Jett McCandless, Founder & CEO, project44
"Our supply chains are failing to keep up with our new world, where decades of established norms are shifting at unprecedented speeds. Tom and Rob have laid out the blueprint for how we can evolve our organizations to harness the unprecedented access to data, technology and innovation we now have. At a time when business leaders are trying to use up valuable cash for just-in-case inventories, they have shown us how SPEED, resulting from deeper visibility and stronger supplier relationships across tiers, can create fast-flowing supply chains that actually free up cash. A must read for business leaders."Bindiya Vakil, CEO, Resilinc Corporation