Danger of ignoring demand

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Lee Iacocca, the man who saved Chrysler back in the 1980s, wrote one of corporate America’s most gripping autobiographies, and in a particularly telling passage describes how, upon his arrival, he discovered thousands and thousands of cars rusting in fields that the company had not been able to sell.

Poor production quality meant that all too often even those cars that did find a buyer had to be recalled and the company was close to bankruptcy. Despite that, cars kept pouring off the production line.

Thirty years on, it is easy to forget just how production driven large scale industries were. Of course, there are huge economies of scale to be had, but if you can’t sell the product at the end then that means nothing.

It’s no wonder  that organisations want to align their supply chains to be responsive to customer demand. The development of sophisticated S&OP techniques and the concept of postponement have both helped companies respond more effectively to customer demand.

But what does it take to make a supply chain fully demand driven? How do you start on the demand-driven path and what challenges are you likely to face along the way?

These are the issues that will be up for discussion at the Demand Driven Supply Chain conference which takes place in Brussels from 15-16th June. Speakers from companies such as Nike, Nokia, Carrefour, and Diageo will be looking at demand-management collaboration – both internally and externally.

Would Iacocca approve? You decide – you can find out more at: www.ddsc2010.com

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