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Optimal Supply Chains

By Art van Bodegraven | 11/17/2017 | 1:19 PM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


My friend Terry Harris of  Chicago Consulting has taken a stand promoting the design of supply chains that balances cost and service considerations, as reported in Parcel Industry.com.  The cost elements are fairly simple: transportation, warehousing, and inventory.

Terry's take, where we come apart, is that the balance of cost and service is a trade-off that offsets cost with lead time reduction.  He reduces this balance to a graphic that allows self-placement on a sliding scale that displays the optimized trade-offs, to illudtrste the comprtitive position of a given enterprise.

My own view is that the competitive positioning is way more complex than that.  Terry's model works just fine in a transactional universe.  My position tries to create relationships that build special ties between companies and customers.

There's a reason that Rolex is in high demand, at a price point that would ruin Casio.  And, it's not based on traditional cost/service trade-offs.



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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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