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An expert offers a set of rules that will help managers achieve dramatic improvements in operations performance.

In recent years, management gurus have urged businesses to adopt such strategies as just-in-time, lean manufacturing, offshoring, and frequent deliveries to retail outlets. But today, these much-touted strategies may be risky. Global financial turmoil, rising labor costs in developing countries, and huge volatility in the price of oil and other commodities can disrupt a company's entire supply chain and threaten its ability to compete. In Operations Rules, David Simchi-Levi identifies the crucial element in a company's success: the link between the value it provides its customers and its operations strategies. And he offers a set of scientifically and empirically based rules that management can follow to achieve a quantum leap in operations performance.

Flexibility, says Simchi-Levi, is the single most important capability that allows firms to innovate in their operations and supply chain strategies. A small investment in flexibility can achieve almost all the benefits of full flexibility. And successful companies do not all pursue the same strategies. Amazon and Wal-Mart, for example, are direct competitors but each focuses on a different market channel and provides a unique customer value proposition—Amazon, large selection and reliable fulfillment; Wal-Mart, low prices—that directly aligns with its operations strategy. Simchi-Levi's rules—regarding such issues as channels, price, product characteristics, value-added service, procurement strategy, and information technolog—-transform operations and supply chain management from an undertaking based on gut feeling and anecdotes to a science.

Over the past two decades, not only has supply chain analysis become a strategic focus of leading firms, it has also spawned an impressive array of research that brings together diverse research communities. Adding to this diversity and intellectual energy is the emergence of E-Business. E-Business creates new competitive dimensions that are fast-paced, ever-changing, and risk-prone, dimensions where innovation, speed, and technological savvy often define success. Most importantly, E-Business challenges the premises and expands the scope of supply chain analysis. The Handbook is a comprehensive research reference that is essential for anyone interested in conducting research in supply chain. Unique features include:

-A focus on the intersection of quantitative supply chain analysis and E-Business,
-Unlike other edited volumes in the supply chain area, this is a handbook rather than a collection of research papers. Each chapter was written by one or more leading researchers in the area. These authors were invited on the basis of their scholarly expertise and unique insights in a particular sub-area,
-As much attention is given to looking back as to looking forward. Most chapters discuss at length future research needs and research directions from both theoretical and practical perspectives,
-Most chapters describe in detail the quantitative models used for analysis and the theoretical underpinnings; many examples and case studies are provided to demonstrate how the models and the theoretical insights are relevant to real situations,
-Coverage of most state-of-the-art business practices in supply chain management.

Audience: This volume is suitable for researchers, faculty, graduate students, and practitioners in the following areas: supply chain management, operations research, management science, decision science, industrial engineering, operations management, civil engineering/transportation, logistics management, risk management, applied mathematics, economics, computer science, industrial management, and other related areas.

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