Strategic Supply Management

Retail Price: $49.95

Direct Price: $44.95

Creating the Next Source of Competitive Advantage
By Robert Trent, Ph.D.
Hardcover, 6×9, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932159-67-7
July 2007

ISBN: 978-1-932159-67-7 Categories: , ,


The popular press is loaded with stories about supply problems affecting many industries. Extensive outsourcing of major portions of a firm’s value chain, relentless pressure from customers to improve product and service functionality and to reduce costs across almost every industry, and steep global competition have combined to create a search for new sources of competitive advantage. This search has led to supply management, the management of suppliers, and improved supply base relationships to become hot topics in the boardrooms of many organizations.

This book presents a roadmap and understanding of what it really means to practice strategic supply management. No longer a transactional activity, supply management is about creating and sustaining new sources of competitive advantage. Dr. Trent articulates how to create a supply management organization that you can count on to deliver reliable sources of supply and, eventually, competitive advantage. He purposely presents a holistic approach that focuses on breadth rather than depth so that readers can see how the different elements that comprise strategic supply management come together to create a hard-to-duplicate source of competitive advantage. Strategic Supply Management presents, in a concise manner, the need for supply leadership, the organizational enablers that must be in place, and the strategies and approaches that leading organizations pursue to achieve advantages in price and cost, quality, cycle time, technology, flexibility, and end customer responsiveness.

This is a must read for any procurement or supply management professional; finance, operations, and engineering functional managers; executives who interact on a regular basis with supply management professionals; and academics and students.

Key Features

  • Summarizes what a leading supply management organization looks like today, completely defines strategic supply management, and provides a clear understanding of the leadership required to achieve a set of demanding supply objectives
  • Explains the four critical enablers underlying strategic supply management—organizational design, measurement, information technology, and human resources—which are prerequisites to the pursuit of more sophisticated supply management activities
  • Discusses how to develop supply strategies and presents the leading-edge supply approaches and strategies that can lead to sustained competitive advantage
  • Presents information about specific concepts, processes, best practices, tools, and real company examples in each chapter and includes end-of-chapter questions to help facilitate discussion and learning

About the author(s)

Robert J. Trent, Ph.D., is the supply chain management program director and the Eugene Mercy associate professor of management at Lehigh University, where he teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Trent gained his practical experience in operations management, purchasing, distribution planning, production scheduling, and package engineering at the Chrysler Corporation. He holds a B.S. degree in materials logistics management from Michigan State University, an M.B.A. degree from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. in purchasing/operations management from Michigan State University.

He has been published extensively in numerous magazines and journals such as Supply Chain Management Review, Inside Supply Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, Sloan Management Review, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Total Quality Management, Academy of Management Executive, Business Horizons, Team Performance Management, NAPM Insights, Supply Chain Forum and Managing Information Strategies and his research is often published by the Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS). Dr. Trent is also co-author of a best-selling textbook entitled Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, now in its third edition. He is a sought-after speaker for seminars and professional conferences. Bob is an active member of Institute of Supply Management (ISM), serving for many years as the Professional Development Director of the NAPM, Lehigh Valley Chapter, and, at the national level, as a member of the ISM Educational Resources Committee.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 — Understanding Strategic Supply Management
Chapter 2 — Recognizing the Importance of Supply Leadership
Chapter 3 — Creating the Right Supply Organization
Chapter 4 — Measuring Across the Supply Network
Chapter 5 — Using Information Technology to Support Supply Objectives
Chapter 6 — Managing the Human Side of Supply Management
Chapter 7 — Matching Supply Strategies to Supply Needs
Chapter 8 — Contracting for the Longer Term
Chapter 9 — Outsourcing for Competitive Advantage
Chapter 10 — Building a World-Class Supply Base
Chapter 11 — Managing Supplier Performance and Relationships
Chapter 12 — Managing Costs Strategically
Chapter 13 — Involving Suppliers Early
Chapter 14 — Sourcing Globally
Chapter 15 — Creating New Value through Supply Alliances
Chapter 16 — Looking Toward the Future


“Finally someone has put it all together… the reasons, the principles and the roadmap for establishing supply management as a sustainable source of competitive advantage. Dr. Trent accomplishes this by delivering chapter after chapter of practical advice and examples. This book is a complete “how to” guide on developing a successful supply management organization and process. If you’re interested in a clear framework for moving beyond purchasing to effective supply management, this book is for you.”
Elliot Grover, Vice President, Procurement, Mars Snack US

“…a masterful job of organizing and conveying years of research and experience with leading supply management organizations into a must read for busy executives charged with driving increased value from purchasing and supply management. We will be using this book extensively in our open-enrollment and custom executive education programs.”
David J. Frayer, Ph.D., Director, Executive Development Programs
The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University