CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
May 21, 2019
Forward Thinking

Think "customer chain," not "supply chain"

Consultants Atlee Valentine Pope and George F. Brown Jr. say companies can grow by identifying where their customers find value in the "customer chain."

In their new book, CoDestiny: Overcome Your Growth Challenges by Helping Your Customers Overcome Theirs, Atlee Valentine Pope and George F. Brown Jr. propose that companies should be thinking in terms of "customer chains" instead of the more commonly used phrase "supply chain." Why? Because the two cofounders of the management strategy firm Blue Canyon Partners believe that companies succeed when they identify where customers find value in the chain, beginning with sourcing and progressing through to delivery of a finished product to consumers.

That idea grew out of a consulting engagement for the appliance manufacturer Emerson, which wanted to know what it could do to create value in the eyes of its customers. Based on their work with Emerson and other clients, the consultants assert that companies must align their destinies with those of their customers if they want to improve sales growth.

To help companies achieve that goal, Pope and Brown offer a framework for identifying where value creation occurs in the customer chain. They also offer advice on how to develop and implement growth strategies for your company and for your customers in those areas of value creation. They back up their recommendations with examples from their consulting experience.

Published by Greenleaf Book Group Press, the hardcover edition of CoDestiny: Overcome Your Growth Challenges by Helping Your Customers Overcome Theirs sells for US $24.95. For more information, go to

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