To cope with the kind of constant change that now confronts businesses worldwide, supply chains will need to become more flexible. Supply chain managers who want to know how to put that idea into practice might want to pick up Operations Rules, the new book written by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor David Simchi-Levi.
The author offers practical advice for supply chain executives who must deal with global financial turmoil, rising labor costs in developing countries, volatile oil prices, and the push for corporate social responsibility. In the section on sustainability, for example, Simchi-Levi notes that longer distances do not always equal a higher carbon footprint, and that shifting transportation modes can yield a positive result. For example, he writes, long-haul air transportation generates 47 times more carbon emissions than ocean freight, and trucking generates six times the amount of carbon dioxide emissions as railroad shipments. But greenhouse gases should not be the sole consideration when choosing a mode of transportation, he argues. Instead, companies should balance time, cost, and emissions.
Along with advice for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, Simchi-Levi provides recommendations for implementing risk-mitigation strategies, rethinking the role of information technology, and undertaking network redesigns to address oil price fluctuations.
Published by MIT Press, the hardcover edition of Operations Rules (ISBN: 978-0-262-01474-8) sells for US $29.95.