An overview of things to consider when designing and managing a supply chain. A supply chain consists of many players: factories make the product, distributors take bulk from factories and deliver packages of related goods to retailers, who sell small quantities to the public. Each player needs to think about production, holding inventory, location placement, transportation of goods, and information technology. Supply chains can be structured to optimize for efficiency, or responsiveness (convenience and reacting quickly to changes in demand).
No matter the type of production line, forecasting demand is important. Some factories can switch to a new product quickly, and their marketing strategy would optimize for highest demand in the peak season. Other factories have a constant output that is difficult to increase and want the demand to remain steady throughout the year. Procurement is the process of selecting suppliers and negotiating the best deals with them; they are usually in a different country so navigating cultural differences can be challenging.
All players benefit from cooperation across the supply chain, for example, to coordinate more efficient and complex procedures like crossdocking and milk-run deliveries. They also benefit from shared information and IT systems, so orders do not have to be manually re-entered in different places. Bullwhip is an effect where fluctuations in demand are amplified through the supply chain (due to everyone ordering more to compensate for the unexpected demand), and can be mitigated by retailers sharing sale information with suppliers.
Overall, there was a lot of repetition so I got bored after reading 200 pages. All the ideas were explained in very general terms that applies to any supply chain. There is little discussion of any specific products and their specific quirks and challenges, and when delivered in such generality, all the advice feels like obvious and common sense.