1. Cisco Systems went from a “push” to a “pull” approach to its supply chain after the dot-com debacle. How are these two approaches different? Does it depend on the state of the economy, which one should be used? Why?
2. What are the different elements that need to come together to bring supply chains to the optimal levels needed by these companies? What role does IT play?
3. How are the approaches to inventory management taken by O’Reilly Auto Parts, on one hand, and Cisco Systems and Black & Decker, on the other, different?

Whether it’s a truck, a tsunami, or an economic downturn, the same general rule applies:
You are better off if you can see it coming from a safe distance. There are not many companies that understand this notion better than Cisco Systems Inc. White-hot during the 1990s; the company was pummeled after its vaunted inventory forecasting system could not—or did not—predict the dot-com bubble is collapse.

  • CreatedDecember 31, 2012
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