Mastering the Supply Chain

Principles, Practice, and Real-Life Application

Ed Weenk

Mastering the Supply Chain is an introduction to supply chain management. The book integrates theory with practice and aims to create a cross-functional mindset in students and practitioners. It provides a comprehensive overview of relevant supply chain concepts. The book also lays out the challenges one will have to overcome to uncover practical methods for applying said concepts in the real world. Readers are continuously asked to actively reflect on their choices, thus experiencing first-hand the many challenges that excellent and effective supply chain management presents.

Mastering the Supply Chain presents a different way of learning that puts the reader at the heart of a life-like situation so that they experience the impact of every decision they make, not just in their own 'silo,' but across the business. In this way, they will learn that many supply chain concepts are relatively simple to understand but not so easy to apply in reality.

Chapter 6 helps students to combine the knowledge they have gathered and apply it to an interactive demonstration of the online business simulation game The Fresh Connection (free access is included in the book). This is an essential chapter for Supply Chain Management BScs and MScs students and also provides a background for those playing the full version of The Fresh Connection Business Simulation.

Ed Weenk is a Senior Global Supply Chain Management Lecturer at Maastricht School of Management and Senior Associate Professor at EADA Business School Barcelona. He teaches at many other international business schools as a freelance trainer and consultant. He is based in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Chuck Nemer's photo

Contributor Chuck Nemer CPIM CLTD MA (Leadership)
Chuck Nemer is a trainer/consultant with 40 years of experience in supply chain management, lean, leadership, and APICS. He also teaches operations management at an urban university in St. Paul, Minnesota (USA). He is active both locally and nationally in his APICS professional society and the areas of instructor development and curriculum development.

Corine Van Der Sloot's photo

Contributor Corine van der Sloot CPIM
Corine van der Sloot is the Director of Education and Senior trainer of The Fresh Connection at Inchainge. Her focus is on bringing the world’s leading SCM simulations worldwide. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with trainers and professionals and enjoys getting the ultimate learning experience for SCM students.

PART ONE: Exploring the fundamentals 1
PART TWO: Mastering the fundamentals 99
PART THREE: Imagining beyond the fundamentals 189
Appendix: Experiential learning and The Fresh Connection (extended version) 249
References 255
Index 259
Christian van Delft, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Operations Management, HEC Paris

"This book is a real breakthrough for the learning and teaching of supply chain management."

Johan Louw, Associate Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

"Supply chain scholars continually get bombarded with new/re-branded theories and concepts in this, (still relatively new) field of study. What is often sadly lacking is a blended learning approach with appropriate material and mechanisms for the learner to try/apply/test these theories and concepts in different dynamic business scenarios within a "safe experimental environment" revealing all the supply chain complexities to be managed in the future. Together with The Fresh Connection's experiential learning environment, this new book, Mastering the Supply Chain, provides the supporting material in a condensed, progressive and aligned style. It further fills the gap in serving industry's current critical need towards assisting both instructors and learners to establish the appropriate onboarding knowledge and skills that can enable businesses in achieve their multi-dimensional business strategies with implementable supply chain plans."

Desiree Knoppen, Associate Professor and Head of Academic Department, Marketing, Operations and Supply, EADA Business School, Barcelona

"This is the missing book on supply chain management: this practice-oriented, business-driven and interactive book is a pleasure to read and essential for people who wish to advance in their supply chain career."

Professor Gao Junjun, Managing Director of Demand Chain Institute, Founder & CEO of oIBP. SHU-UTS SILC Business School, Shanghai (China)

"Mastering the Supply Chain profoundly reveals the core of supply chain management: strategy, collaboration, technology and leadership. Through 'The Fresh Connection' simulation game, which is used as an interactive case in the book, readers can experience the challenge and charm of supply chain management, and truly understand that the competition between modern enterprises is the competition between supply chains. To win in the competition, we need to deeply realize that supply chain management is not alone and isolated, but that each department should strengthen mutual communication, understanding and trust. On this basis, through information sharing, responsibility allocation, common decision-making and other ways, one can achieve the collaboration and unity of the whole operational process of the company."

Mohamed el Ouasghiri, Senior lecturer Supply Chain Management, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

"Mastering the Supply Chainis one of the few Supply Chain Management books that describes the explanation about the fundamentals of Supply Chain Management as well as how to apply these fundamentals concretely to the level of organization, management and operations."

Nicolai Rassolov MSc, Lecturer, School of Continuing Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

"One of the major challenges in either learning or teaching Supply Chain Management is the creation of the bridge between the theory and practice. The non-experienced learnings remain abstract until they are applied in real life. Mastering the Supply Chain is closing the gap by providing a solid theoretical base as well as an immediate practical application through a business simulation in a very experimental and playful way. It's an absolute reference on Supply Chain Management for students, professionals, and leaders."

Dr Mario Chong, Vice dean of Business Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad del Pacífico, Lima, Peru

"Mastering the Supply Chain presents a systematic approach to understanding current supply chains and value networks. This book offers a theoretical and practical support that will help organizations as well as students understand supply chains, and the potential impact of trends in business and society on company competitiveness. Ed Weenk´s take on the underlying fundamentals delivers a pragmatic approach to enhancing the learner's understanding of fundamentals and beyond. His approach is a major step towards understanding Supply Chain basics and potential disruptions to the growth of the business."

Finn Wynstra, NEVI Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management, Rotterdam School of Management

"Building on his extensive training experience, Ed Weenk has written a very valuable and accessible book."

Martijn Lofvers, CEO and Chief Trendwatcher at Supply Chain Media

"Ed Weenk covers how competitive company strategy links to supply chain typology and to the process of Sales & Operations Planning. In the second and third part of the book, using a realistic supply chain business simulation game of a fruit juice manufacturing company, the Author lets a team of virtual students called SuperJuice show in a very practical way which trade-offs have to be made to execute the chosen company strategy and the complexities involved in the decision making. All in all, I think Mastering the Supply Chain will prove to be a very useful and practically oriented book providing a grateful and effective learning experience for a wide diversity of learners."

Dr. Luis E. Herrera – Associate Professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico City (Mexico)

"Mastering the Supply Chain is an excellent work that gives us the opportunity to review the concepts of the Supply Chain from a perspective that achieves a perfect balance between the methodology and the practical approach. In the text, Ed Weenk manages to capture with great skill the complex relationships that arise in the world of business without falling into excessive simplification, while allowing the reader to understand concepts from a practical perspective. My most sincere congratulations to Prof. Weenk. I am sure that Mastering the Supply Chain will be of great interest to practitioners, as well as academics and students."

Tom Van Woensel, Professor of Operations Management and Logisitics, Eindhoven University of Technology and Antwerp Management School

"This excellent book not only covers core supply chain management principles, buts adds a guided approach to mastering them. It will be of great value to both students and lecturers."

Claudio Barbieri da Cunha, Associate Professor, Head of Dept of Transportation Engineering, Director of Center for Innovation in Logistics Systems Engineering (CISLOG), University of São Paulo, Brazil

"Supply Chain is a broad area that requires many different managerial, technical and leadership skills, as well as knowledge and a holistic view of different areas, from purchasing to operations, finance and sales. Consequently, learning Supply Chain concepts and putting them into practice is a challenging mission, particularly for those in the early and intermediate stages of their careers. In such context, Mastering the Supply Chain offers a unique approach that blends a comprehensive review of the main concepts of supply chain, with plenty of additional references for a more in-depth learning of specific topics. It fills a much-needed gap that effectively allows the integration of such concepts to an experiential learning approach using the excellent business simulation game called The Fresh Connection."

Dr. Stanislav Chankov, Lecturer in Supply Chain Management, Department of Mathematics and Logistics, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany

"The title says it all:Mastering the Supply Chain - Not only in theory, but also in practice. This book covers the fundamentals of supply chain management with a strong emphasis on practical application. A clear structure guides you through mastering the multiple dimensions of the supply chain management: the business, technical and leadership dimensions. There are plenty of useful exercises throughout the book which challenge you to explore, analyse and imagine key supply chain management concepts or scenarios, thus ensuring a holistic understanding. The highlight is the learning experience through 'The Fresh Connection' business simulation - a game environment allowing you to study the effects of key supply chain decisions on the example of a fruit juice supply chain. All in all, a well-written book on supply chain management that prepares you to master the supply chain challenges of the future."

Michael Lustenberger, Research Associate, Center of Strategy & Operations, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Winterthur, Switzerland

"So far there has not been a well-suited textbook to support and foster this excellent learning experience with the general concepts of supply chain management. I have been integrating 'The Fresh Connection' simulation with great success in my supply chain management courses for several years. The experimental environment of the simulation brings a real-world sensation into the classroom. Mastering the Supply Chain provides the essential learning needed to bridge the gap between The Fresh Connection and the fundamentals of supply chain management."

Laura M Meade, Director of International Programs and Professor of Supply Chain Practice, Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth

"Ingeniously incorporates knowledge and practice of the fundamentals. The diagrams are especially descriptive, and the combination of theory with experential learning is a game-changer in the quest to educate students and professionals how to manage supply chains in an ever-changing world."

Prof. Dr Tom Van Woensel – Professor Operations Management and Logistics, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, and Antwerp Management School, Belgium

"Mastering the Supply Chain is an excellent book that not only covers the understanding of core supply chain management principles but adds a guided approach to mastering them. The key learning and one of the important distinguishing factors are the hands-on learning using 'The Fresh Connection' game. Mastering the Supply Chain will be of great value for students seeking to understand and master those SCM principles, but also for lecturers giving them an excellent hands-on learning tool to their students."

Professor Samir Dani, Head of Logistics, Marketing, Hospitality and Analytics, University of Huddersfield, UK

"Mastering the Supply Chain provides an invaluable guide for understanding how decisions are made when managing the supply chain strategically. The emphasis of the book is on practical learning and hence the book is written around 'The Fresh Connection' supply chain game. Having used this game in my courses over several years, this book would be an excellent companion. The book will provide value for UG, PG and MBA courses with a focus on supply chain management."

Dmitrii Gavrilov, CPIM, CSCP, CLTD, SCOR-P, APICS Master CPIM Instructor, APICS Lead CSCP Instructor, APICS Associate CLTD Instructor, Professor, St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU)

"Mastering the Supply Chain is a great aid to those who would like to better understand the strategic and tactical landscape of Supply Chain Management as well as the mechanics of 'The Fresh Connection' business simulation. The book perfectly connects conceptual supply chain management considerations with business simulation practice. I strongly recommend this book to both teachers and students as a supportive tool for Supply Chain Management courses and trainings."

Ms. Wang Xiaofang, Director of Lab, Department of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing (China)

"Mastering the Supply Chain deals with how to manage a supply chain from multiple perspectives, including business, technology, performance and optimization. It contains many templates for analysis, thus giving the reader a quick guide to supply chain management. The author shows people the most relevant principles, analysis process and decision-making frameworks using one interactive case throughout the book. Mastering the Supply Chain is kindly recommended as a textbook for both students and practitioners."


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