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Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation Hardcover – December 26, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118218310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118218310
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Bricks Matter

"This book is like no other that has been written about supply chain management. It is a must-read for the supply chain leadership team."
Marty Kisliuk, Global Operations Director, Agricultural Products Group, FMC Corporation

"Lora Cecere has been a key driver of supply chain strategies that force companies to think differently about how they work with their customers, partners, and cross-functionally within their own organizations. Here she teaches us to take a bold step to change our thinking and turn the supply chain around to focus on the consumer."
Ann Dozier, Vice President, Fresh Dairy Direct IT, Dean Foods Company

"Today, the worlds of social business and supply chain management have many degrees of separation. I enjoyed working with Lora to understand what the future transformation of digital marketing to digital business could look like."
Jeremiah Owyang, Research Director, Altimeter

"The journey to build the outside-in, end-to-end value network happens in stages and can only be led from the top based on value-based outcomes. This is a guidebook for leaders driving the transformation."
Roddy Martin, industry thought leader

“This is the new bible for all supply chain executives. It provides an insider’s perspective that will prove incredibly valuable to even the most grizzled supply chain veteran. This is the next must-have business book.”
Bruce Richardson, Chief Enterprise Strategist,

From the Inside Flap

Corporate quality and process improvement initiatives are stalled. Satisfaction rates with current supply chain technologies have never been lower nor the failure rates as high. Yet, companies continue in the same patterns.

Sharing relevant stories of success and failure from seventy-five supply chain pioneers, Bricks Matter reveals the insights of what has been learned over the course of thirty years, providing insights on the evolution of processes, and prognosticating on the future of tomorrow's supply chains.

This groundbreaking resource explores why supply chains matter today and how companies need to prepare for the next decade. Authors Lora Cecere and Charles Chase Jr. present a look at the future of technologies, a future that already includes big data, new forms of predictive analytics, and the evolution of digital manufacturing, proving that the adoption of new technologies is part of winning the supply chain race.

Bricks Matter explores:

  • Who does supply chain best?
  • The new world of demand management
  • Achieving market-driven capabilities
  • Social: a new form of demand signal
  • Building horizontal connectors
  • Questioning the status quo

Manufacturing is coming full circle. Starting out as a craft focused on the production of individual units, it has now, through digital manufacturing, returned to the unit of one with the potential to improve supply chain agility. Learn how to create a world-class supply chain focused on continual improvement with the hands-on guidance found in Bricks Matter.

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

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An amazingly well researched and well written book.
Kishor Gummaraju
Bricks Matter is an important book for any supply chain and management executive to read.
Stephen DeAngelis
I strongly recommend that marketers get this book, read it, and use it.
Timothy Peterson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tanguy Caillet on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here is now a book which is not like the other books on SC. It is not about theories based on valid Operational Research nor it is just another "how-to" make it work. What I found fasciniting with this book, is first the perspective...looking back 30 years, yes, Supply Chain is already 30 years-old, this prove to be a great introspection for those of us who could called themselves pioneers as the authors mentionned. Looking at the evolution of SC, shows that Rome was not build in a day nor were Supply Chains across the world. The forces at work pushed the pioneers in certain direction and the best SC of todays are the result of a long evolution, rather than revolution.

Then having understood the background, the authors turn the table and look in the future of Supply Chain. That is where I believe lies the biggest value of the book. The authors are describing the road forward that some companies are already trying to achieve, though for most of the companies out there, the road might be long and difficult.

The cruz is to understand that Supply Chains will have to be different in the future to cope with the changes the world reserve for us e.g. demand variability, uncertainty on both sides of the market (supply & demand). The book is really making it clear what are the necessary elements you need to have in your Supply Chain to be successful, brick by first, then the walls...I guess that's how you build a great Supply Chain house !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Keifer on March 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Bricks Matter manages to avoid the dullness that permeates many of the academic-style supply chain books published over the past decade. What I liked best about the book was the amazing set of case studies that show how great companies have succeeded or failed because of how they have managed their supply chains. The moral of the story is that companies should not build supply chains of twigs and straw, but from bricks so they can withstand unexpected natural disasters, economic recessions and disruptive technologies.

The history of Mattel's various manufacturing strategies are traced over the past fifty years highlighting how approaches to labor and logistics have evolved in recent decades. And the authors provide a new perspective on Boeing's challenges with the new product launch of its 787 and Coca-Cola's strategies for vertical integration of its bottling units.

But in addition to the case studies and storytelling, there is plenty of hard-core supply chain theory and best practices backed by quantitative data. There are discussions on the top supply chain operating metrics; different forms of waste; and comparisons of supply chain characteristics by vertical industries.

An excellent recount of the past five years is provided as well. The importance of supply chain risk management is examined in the context of the 2008 global economic recession and subsequent natural disasters. The authors study the three different approaches taken by three major electronics manufacturers following the Thailand floods of 2011. And the rise of corporate social responsibility is explored with case studies of how these changes have impacted everyone from celebrities like Kathie Lee to chief executives like Philip Knight.

The final chapter provides a compelling vision on how 3D/Digital manufacturing, Big Data and the Internet of Things will impact the supply chain between now and the year 2020.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Bodenstab on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lora Cecere’s book succeeds on many fronts.

First and foremost, it’s a great learning experience. I have been in the supply chain industry for nearly two decades and yet found it insightful, offering many new perspectives and a lot of depth. I even found myself doing something I haven’t done in years – pulling out a yellow highlighter to note key passages.

Yet the book is also quite accessible. It’s very conceptual, without a lot of formulas and detailed theorizing. It balances high level discussion with deep understanding, backed by first-hand research. The book also backs the concepts with dozens of short exculpatory case studies. I was impressed that Lora was able to get so many companies to share their stories of both success and failure.

Finally, and perhaps most important, I found the book offered a clear vision of where supply chain management is heading and needs to go. The book paints a picture of aggressive, yet plausible goals, and a path to get there.

“Bricks Matter” is as solid and comprehensive book as you can find. If you are looking for one book to read on supply chain management, this would be it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Branka on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I regularly read Ms Cecere's blog, [...], so I was familiar with her work when I bought this book. However, Bricks Matter not only fulfilled, but surpassed my expectations! The book brings very concise overview of all the issues that supply chain practitioners face today in a very realistic way. It does not give you false easy and quick miracle remedies, but truthfully describes the way of development that we are all trying to follow in our complex business environment that gets messier every day. The road is not easy, but the advices and signposts given in the book are applicable on every step of the way.
I am most impressed with the idea given in the book that supply chain has to be managed and understood as a complex system, with horizontal processes, strong partner relationships and open to outside-in information. Only if it is built with these assumptions of complexity, the supply chain system can have strong characteristics of complex system, such as resilience and agility, and as such it can flourish in complex business environment. This not something that one can usually find in other business literature which often oversimplifies the issue of supply chain management.
However, the book is very well written, an interesting and easy read, and this writing style is signature of the authors' superior knowledge of the subject.
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