The Digital Supply Chain Challenge 2nd Edition

Breaking Through
December 2023
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The challenges facing supply chain professionals are changing rapidly. Today, far from focusing on capital expenditures and logistics such as warehousing and distribution, supply chain executives are expected to understand all aspects of the business, appreciate the constraints and expectations of upstream and downstream partners, and possess sufficient technological savvy to navigate the bewildering array of options presented by Industry 4.0 and supply chain digitalization (SCD). This book is for them.

The Digital Supply Chain Challenge: Breaking Through 2nd Edition is a distillation of the authors’ 50+ years of combined supply chain experience, both at the coal face and in the classroom. Their insights and observations – captured in short articles and best-practice case studies – are brought together in one place for supply chain executives to consult at different times during their SCD voyage, to find benchmarks, relevant insights or even just to help formulate the right questions along the way. It is a sort of handbook to the essentials of digital supply chain transformation.

This new edition contains additional chapters on AI, an evaluation of Industry 4.0, why the promised fourth industrial revolution hasn’t happened yet and new cases studies on Henkel, HEINEKEN, L’Oreal and Zalando.


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Ralf Seifert
Professor of Operations Management.

Ralf Seifert is Professor of Operations Management. His primary research and teaching interests are operations management, supply chain strategy, and digital transformation. His work lies at the heart of one of the most important topics currently facing organizations, as supply chains come under strain due to multiple global changes. He has also worked on industry analysis, competitive strategy, and new venture formation.

Seifert says supply chain management has grown tremendously in importance in recent years, and the agenda for supply chain executives has expanded massively. They must now address topics such as digital transformation, supply chain resilience, and sustainability in addition to worries around cost pressure, inflation, and new geopolitical constraints.

Recent supply chain tensions have been triggered by strong demand for goods at a time of significant supply chain disruptions. It is not clear if the world will ever return to a situation in which just-in-time inventory management is seen as the holy grail. Executives will have to master more profound supply chain transformations to safeguard future operations, he says.

Richard Markoff

has an extensive and varied supply chain background. His career includes 22 years with L’Oréal, starting in Canada in manufacturing before stints in Paris and New York, with ever-increasing supply chain responsibilities and scope.
He completed his adventure at L’Oréal as the company’s first global supply chain standards director, defining and promoting best practices in customer collaboration, distribution, demand planning and production planning.

Throughout his career, Richard has been a constant agent of change and innovation in supply chain. He has been a pioneer of supply chain digitalization, for which he was cited in the Wall Street Journal, among other publications.
He continues this spirit of innovation today as a supply chain strategy advisor, professor, author and board member based in Geneva, Switzerland. Richard is also a co-founder and partner of the venture capital firm Innovobot, where he advises startups on their road to success.

Richard holds a PhD in supply chain management from ESCP-La Sorbonne (France), where his research shed light on supply chain governance and its articulation with finance; an MBA specialized in supply chain from Northeastern University (US); and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from McGill University (Canada).

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