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SUGGESTED TOPIC AREAS FOR STUDY FOR THE FINAL EXAMINATION SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT 1. Innovative versus functional products and their supply chain implications 2. The dimensions of customer value A. Conformance to requirements. Market mediation Ability to offer what the customer wants and needs. Closing the communication loop Supply chain is organized so it can track material and product in real time but also close the information loop. Sticking to a rhythm across the supply chain Company is willing to spend money on anything that will make its supply chain fast and responsive. Leveraging capital assets to increase supply chain flexibility Company uses investments in production and distribution facilities to make the supply chain more responsive. B. Product selection. Proliferation of product options. Larger product variety means greater problems in managing supplies and predicting demand.
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Three successful trends: Specialize in offering one type of product, i.e., Starbucks/ Subway Mega-stores that allow one-stop shopping for a large variety of products, i.e., Wal-Mart/Target Mega-stores that specialize in one product area, i.e., Home Depot/Office Max/Staples C. Price and brand. Price cannot be a differential in many industries Companies like Dell and Wal-Mart use cost reduction strategies to improve profit Brand names become a guarantee for quality Premium brands can ask for premium prices Supply chain has to be more responsive Pricing in services more difficult Opportunities for companies that can offer new services Not easily transformed to commodities D. Value-added services. Additional services to improve profits and differentiate from competition. More important now than before because: Increased commoditization of products. Need to get closer to the customer. Increased IT capabilities that enable such offering.
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