As companies try to create a competitive edge in today's crowded global marketplace, some tend to emphasize their services, whereas others focus on price and efficiency. But, in the end, they all pursue the same essential goals for long-term sales growth and profitability: to differentiate themselves and provide value to customers. Supply chain innovation can provide customer value by improving efficiency, ensuring reliable supply and enabling competitive pricing. The strategies outlined in this article show how Dow Corning, maximized manufacturing capacity and reduced costs while giving customers the products, pricing and convenience they wanted via their Web-enabled XIAMETER business model. The XIAMETER Web site operates in "real-time," directly linking the order entry system to production planning and inventory management. In exchange for compliance with business rules, customers benefit from competitive, market-based pricing and the convenience of online ordering. The business model's ease of use has been a major factor in customer acceptance.
supplier relations INNOVATING SUPPLIERS AND SUPPLY CHAINS Michael R. Levely describes the bu
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