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Isn't It Obvious? Paperback – November 5, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eliyahu M. Goldratt (1947-2011) fue un consultor de negocios cuya teor a de las limitaciones ha servido como modelo para la administraci n de sistemas y negocios. Escribi muchos libros, incluyendo No es cuesti n de suerte (la continuaci n de La Meta), Cadena cr tica, y Necesario pero no suficiente. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: North River Press (November 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884271927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884271925
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Miller on August 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
First of all, let me say that I am a Theory of Constraints fanatic. The Goal confirmed for me so much of what I had always believed. It's Not Luck changed the way I work and interact with people not just in business. Critical Chain was absolutely priceless in my work as a project manager.

After losing my job, along with dozens of other talented, hard-working people, I found myself returning to retail. It was a very difficult move, not only because I would be making 1/8 what I had been before. Retail business models alone have always frustrated me. The particular chain I went to work for was particularly frustrating to me. But it was work.

When I heard that Goldratt had (co-)written another TOC book, this time about retail, I was very excited to see what I could apply in my situation.

Well, Isn't it Obvious is an excellent start, and could be a wonderful guide for people in the right positions. Small business owners, for instance. Or middle- and upper-level-managers in large chains which employ only completely competent managers who never put their own agenda ahead of the good of the company. For those of us in real-world organizations, however, this is not as helpful as Goldratt's previous works.

The main character, Paul White, is married to Carolina, the corporate purchaser and daughter of Henry Aaronson, the CEO nearing retirement. Paul's good friend is the regional warehouse manager. Is it any wonder that so much could be accomplished in such a cooperative environment?

I have never seen an organization like the one described in this book. The first third was very exciting as roughly 9 out of every 10 problems I have experienced with my employer was specifically mentioned.
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Format: Paperback
Once again Dr. Goldratt has a hit with this book! He has moved down the supply chain to the retailer to challenge the status quo and the common business practices of today. Dr. Goldratt exposes the practical common sense solution that can revolutionize every retailer's business. "Isn't It Obvious" is an easy read and short enough to read in a weekend. However, realizing the assumption that high availability can come only with high inventory is fundamentally wrong can take a lifetime for some people. For the retailers that can change how they think will be rewarded with increased sales, increased profits AND reduced inventory. A must read for anyone in the distribution or retailing industry.
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I am a big fan of the Theory of Constraint (TOC) books. this title piqued my interest because the description mentioned improving performance in a retail environment. Unfortunately, this was very misleading. I read the book in only two days, confirming other reviews that it is a very quick read. I was disappointed to see that the book dealt with the distribution chain from the store to the warehouse to purchasing and manufacturers (Just like one of his other titles called: The Goal - sighhhh.) As a TOC book this is a great primer on how TOC works. If you are looking for a better book, read The Goal (it covers all of the material in this book and much more). If you are looking for a book on how to use TOC in a retail or sales environment, keep looking. This is not the book for you. If however, you are looking for a book covering the use of TOC relating to distribution logistics and merchandise forecasting, this is a decent read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This Eli Goldratt's last novel, it's about Distribution and Retail. He had first “The Goal” with Production, “Critical Chain” with Projects, and now the Distribution solution, which is one of the TOC's most known applications today and one of the most successfully. The solution is so obvious that it is also the name of the book.
The point is like many other TOC (Theory of Constraints) applications it is not quite well known and it is less implemented. We could say it is ignorance but I think it is not the case. Every manager that works on logistics and on Retail/Distribution can know TOC but the obvious, so obvious to implement, gets stuck in the traditional way of thinking.

In this book Goldratt gives us not only the rational for the solution, the solution itself, but also the way to cover the change management part, which by the way is the most difficult to deal when we are talking about implementations.

So it’s all in one, in a common language with the minimum of technicalities. It’s a good story also, and a superb job in describing a superior management tool, for the Retail industry.

The only point I think Goldratt could improve this fantastic book was the story itself. But for this he needed at least more 100 pages or so.
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I picked this book up as I enjoy reading business novels and learning new concepts in a "real" setting. Isn't It Obvious is about Hannah's Shop in Boca Raton, FL. As this is from Eli Goldratt the book is about Theory of Constrains (TOC).

The book starts out with a struggling company trying to get a handle on their business and understand their problems. Fortunately they have a Jonah (The Goal) they can turn to for help and guidance. The book takes you through retail issues such as SKUs, partial orders, inventory, and controlling base costs. I am not too familiar with retail terms so I had to fight through some of these parts to make sure I understood what was being discussed.

Chapter 14 was helpful in describing inventory turns (stores yearly sales divided by average cost of the inventory). They realized how helpful understanding this ratio can be to understanding sales. One good point was holding inventory where they sell less than one a day, but were holding 15 in inventory.

Chapter 18 was another helpful chapter where the authors take the readers through supply lead time, inventory and lead time for replenishment.

As with most books bits and pieces can be applied to any size company, but the sweet spot will be for the small businesses who carry different inventory in competitive locations. The story was a little dry, but easy to fight through and root for the owners and the business to thrive and grow.
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