The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage

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9780262195379: The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage

Gold Award Winner for Business and Economics in the 2005 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards

What happens when fire strikes the manufacturing plant of the sole supplier for the brake pressure valve used in every Toyota? When a hurricane shuts down production at a Unilever plant? When Dell and Apple chip manufacturers in Taiwan take weeks to recover from an earthquake? When the U.S. Pacific ports are shut down during the Christmas rush? When terrorists strike? In The Resilient Enterprise, Yossi Sheffi shows that companies' fortunes in the face of such business shocks depend more on choices made before the disruption than they do on actions taken in the midst of it—and that resilience benefits firms every day, disaster or no disaster. He shows how companies can build in flexibility throughout their supply chains, based on proven design principles and the right culture—balancing security, redundancy, and short-term profits. And he shows how investments in resilience and flexibility not only reduce risk but create a competitive advantage in the increasingly volatile marketplace.

Sheffi describes the way companies can increase security—reducing the likelihood of a disruption—with layered defenses, the tracking and analysis of “near-misses,” fast detection, and close collaboration with government agencies, trading partners, and even competitors. But the focus of the book is on resilience—the ability to bounce back from disruptions and disasters—by building in redundancy and flexibility. For example, standardization, modular design, and collaborative relationships with suppliers (and other stakeholders) can help create a robust supply chain. And a corporate culture of flexibility—with distributed decision making and communications at all levels—can create a resilient enterprise.

Sheffi provides tools for companies to reduce the vulnerability of the supply chain they live in. And along the way he tells the stories of dozens of enterprises, large and small, including Toyota, Nokia, General Motors, Zara, Land Rover, Chiquita, Aisin Seiki, Southwest Airlines, UPS, Johnson and Johnson, Intel, Amazon.com, the U.S. Navy, and others, from across the globe. Their successes, failures, preparations, and methods provide a rich set of lessons in preparing for and managing disruptions.
Additional material available at www.TheResilientEnterprise.com

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From the Inside Flap:

"The Resilient Enterprise is more than a grab bag of stories about fires, thieves, and tornadoes. It is the timely analysis of an important--and overlooked aspect of business strategy. Mr. Sheffi argues that crisis control can be a competitive advantage for companies that get it right. Wise planning at headquarters is part of the answer, but only part: Companies need a whole culture of flexibility. It is impossible to know where trouble will hit next, but it is possible to create an atmosphere in which people at all levels respond to disruptions quickly and confidently. Metaphorically, levees can break at any time." -- Wall Street Journal

"[Sheffi is] quickly becoming the global expert on resilient enterprises." -- John Robb’s Weblog

"In this world of 'lean inventory' this is a cautionary book that needs to be taken seriously." -- 800 CEO-Read

We especially appreciated the book's "Profile of a Disruption" and its warning that disruptions can keep on disrupting long after the fire is out. Just ask Ericsson." -- Sean Silverthorne, HBS Working Knowledge

About the Author:

Yossi Sheffi, an international expert in supply chain management, is Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT and Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. He has worked with leading manufacturers around the world on logistics issues and is an active entrepreneur, having founded or cofounded five companies since 1987.

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