Never has so much technology and brainpower been applied to improving supply chain performance. Point-of-sale scanners allow companies to capture the customer's voice. Electronic data interchange lets all stages of the supply chain hear that voice and react to it by using flexible manufacturing, automated warehousing, and rapid logistics. And new concepts such as efficient consumer response, accurate response, mass customization, and agile manufacturing offer models for applying the new technology. But the performance of many supply chains has never been worse. In some cases, costs have risen to new levels because of adversarial relations between supply chain partners as well as dysfunctional industry practices such as an overreliance on price promotions. And supply chains in many industries suffer from an excess of some products and a shortage of others because of an inability to predict demand.
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