Diagnosing Greatness

Retail Price: $49.95

Direct Price: $44.95

Ten Traits of the Best Supply Chains
By Charles C. Poirier, Francis J. Quinn, & Morgan L. Swink
Hardcover, 6 x 9, 296 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60427-026-6
November 2009

ISBN: 978-1-60427-026-6 Categories: , ,


Diagnosing Greatness is the first supply chain book targeted at all levels and functions of business management. It explains how business performance can be enhanced through a concerted effort to implement improvements across a full supply chain network. Using a significant amount of academic studies, published literature and documentation from annual global surveys among supply chain and logistics professionals conducted by Supply Chain Management Review magazine, Computer Sciences Corporation and Michigan State University, the authors combine their first-hand experiences to present a clear and impressive substantiation of what industry leading firms are accomplishing through supply chain efforts. Specifics are given across a wide variety of industries of how a limited number of firms have achieved positions of greatness as their supply chain efforts have matured and industry-best practices have emerged.

The authors’ basic approach was to isolate the best supply chains through documented accomplishments and then diagnose what led to their superior execution. Findings enabled the authors to articulate the top ten sustainable competencies or traits of greatness that distinguish the leaders from the followers. Each chapter within this book covers a trait which firms in any business can calibrate itself against and initiate a plan for achieving similar progress.

Diagnosing Greatness shows how to achieve the greatest return, while better satisfying investors, suppliers, business customers and consumer groups. Using many case examples and actual action stories, the authors bring a new and higher dimension to business success by explaining how to optimize the process steps across an extended business enterprise; bring value to all constituents of a business enterprise, especially the end consumer; and achieve and maintain industry best business results.

Key Features

  • Unlocks the mystery to finding how businesses can eliminate costs and apply the savings to improve the top and bottom lines of their operating statement
  • Provides practical advice and prescriptive steps for bringing improvements to purchasing and sourcing, transportation and warehousing, sales and operations planning, inventory management, and operating systems
  • Presents clear descriptions to help firms achieve a perfect ordering and handling system, provide vendor-managed inventory capability, introduce forecast collaboration, and achieve matching of actual demand with ability to deliver
  • Explains in simple and practical terms how leaders are combining other techniques to enhance their supply chain efforts, such as lean, quality, selective outsourcing, and customer intelligence
  • Gives the reader a step-by-step roadmap and business plan for implementation and success

About the author(s)

Charles Poirier is a partner with the Strategic Services Group of Computer Sciences Corporation. He is a recognized authority on business process improvement, supply chain management, e-business techniques, and collaborative use of technology around the world. He has written seven books related to improving supply chain processes and his works have been translated into 10 languages. He is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences and meetings and a sought-after advisor for major business corporations.

Francis Quinn is the founding editor and editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. He has been covering the logistics and supply chain scene for more than two decades, having served for many years as editor of Traffic Management Magazine. In addition, he has written on supply chain topics for BusinessWeek and other industry publications and was a contributor to the book Supply Chain Directions for a New North America, prepared for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals by Accenture. Frank holds an undergraduate degree from Boston College and a Master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Morgan Swink is Professor and Eli Broad Legacy Fellow of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University. He teaches in areas of supply chain management, project management, innovation management, and operations strategy. Dr. Swink is currently the Co-Editor in Chief for the Journal of Operations Management. He has co-authored two textbooks and published over 50 articles in a variety of academic and managerial journals. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, an MBA from the University of Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Operations Management from Indiana University. He consults and leads executive education workshops and seminars in supply chain integration, world-class manufacturing, project management, manufacturing flexibility, and breakthrough thinking for innovation and productivity.

Table of Contents



“This book sets the new standard for what supply chain management is all about. The authors have applied their research and industry data to establish a solid framework and prescription for achieving the best possible results from a supply chain. It is recommended reading.”

Hon. Roger W. Kallock, Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Logistics and Materiel Readiness)