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Eli Schragenheim, H. William Dettmer, J. Wayne Patterson – Supply Chain Management at Warp Speed: Integrating the System from End to End

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In 2000, Schragenheim and Dettmer published the ground-breaking Manufacturing at Warp Speed. At the time, the cutting-edge ideas expressed were the original work of the authors and not well-known beyond the book’s audience. In the years that followed, Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, father of the Theory of Constraints (TOC), adopted their ideas, added his own valuable insights, and popularized them worldwide.

Supply Chain Management at Warp Speed serves as the sequel that refines and updates the former approach to production management with new ideas that complement earlier tactics. The authors’ prime motivation for writing this book was to integrate the TOC method for managing the distribution of finished goods with the acquisition of raw materials and the manufacturing process. The result is the first book to describe, in detail, the application of the TOC approach to assured availability in distribution, for both original equipment manufacturers and retailers.

“State-Of-The-Art” in Applying Theory of Constraints

This cutting-edge reference broadens the scope of its predecessor by integrating manufacturing, distribution, and raw material management into a single end-to-end supply chain. It addresses the new demands taken on when a firm offers to handle rush orders. It also reviews the issues surrounding availability and the management of inventory moving through distribution systems.

Fully illustrated, with numerous examples, case studies, and manufacturing scenarios, Supply Chain Management at Warp Speed provides TOC practitioners with the tools needed to address the performance issues of the entire supply chain and develop solutions that represent a win for the end-user as well as stakeholders along the entire supply chain.

Amazon Reviews

Any person who was not updated to the TOC knowledge generated since 2005, is obsolete. This book review all the new concepts needed to implement TOC in operations and supply chain.

A must read for anyone in operations and supply chain.

In Manufacturing at Warp Speed (MWS) Eli Schrangeheim and Bill Dettmer introduced the Simplified Drum-Buffer-Rope (S-DBR) approach and proposed the idea that the market is always the major constraint – an idea that many of us have adopted ever since. That book became the main reference about the application of Theory of Constraints (TOC) tools to manufacturing environments for TOC practitioners around the world. Eight years later, this time in collaboration with J. Patterson, both authors share with us new insights and perspectives on the topic in their new book, Supply Chain at Warp Speed (SCWS).

SCWS updates and elaborates on the former approach to production management, to truly extend it for the first time to the entire supply chain, encompassing every step of activity from the provision of raw materials to the end user. Without doubt, SCWS is the ultimate resource for any serious student of TOC solutions in Supply Chain Management. That is why I plan to recommend it to my postgraduate alumni of advanced Operations Management courses at the Instituto de Empresa, the first Spanish business school. In addition, this book is not an academic book, but a very practical one. It is primarily about how to produce and distribute goods more quickly, satisfying your customers and earning more money in the process – now and in the future. It is full of recipes for shortening your cash-to-cash cycle, which, properly implemented, can give results in weeks. Thus, it is required reading for any professional interested in solving real world problems affecting anything, anywhere, in the supply chain.

SCWS is written in an easily understandable style and is divided into four main parts.

In Part 1, TOC beginners will benefit from the clear, up-to-date explanation of the traditional DBR and the S-DBR solution. In this part, advanced readers should pay attention to new concepts, such as `safe dates’,as well as to the recommendations for successful S-DBR implementation in non-typical situations included in chapter 5… but the real treat for the experienced TOC Practitioner can be found in the following sections of the book.

In Part 2, chapter 6 introduces a `heretical’ and exciting idea: the use of S-DBR for Make to Stock (MTS) and, more precisely, for Make to Availability (MTA), a new concept that authors define as `a manufacturer’s general declaration to provide immediate supply whenever needed’. MTA is a justifiable reason for making to stock. Moreover, the authors challenge the idea that the term buffer always refers to time. According to these authors, when it comes to MTS, we need to reconsider our traditional concept of buffers.

In Part 3, chapters 8 and 9 describe the TOC approach to managing distribution networks. The authors satisfy in 50 pages the need for a comprehensive and state-of-the-art reference for the management of post-production distribution and the upstream portion of supply chain – the raw materials. Many of us have been waiting for such a description for years!

Finally, in Part 4, the authors of SCWS conclude that “in a supply chain, companies `sink or swim’ together”. Here, they carry out an exhaustive review of conflicts of interest among supply chain members and offer a few Evaporation Clouds and Negative Branches that are truly enlightening. This is one of my favorite chapters.

I have long been an admirer of Dettmer and Schragenheim’s work and I must say that this book is probably their best on the subject. In short, for anyone seeking a clear, well-written explanation of TOC approaches to managing supply chain by some of the foremost TOC practitioners working on the subject, Supply Chain at Warp Speed should be `The Choice’.

Mario López de Ávila Muñoz
Principal and Founder, NODOS ctc
Associate Professor in Operations and Technology Management, IE Business School


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