In the ancient Greek fable about the tortoise and the hare, the speedy and overconfident rabbit fell asleep on the job, while the "slow and steady" turtle won the race. That may
have been true in Aesop's time, but in today's demanding business environment, "slow and steady" won't get you out of the starting gate, let alone win any races. Managers these days recognise that getting products to customers faster than the competition will improve
a company's competitive position. To remain competitive, companies must seek new solutions to important Supply Chain Management issues such as modal analysis, supply chain management, load planning, route planning and distribution network design.
Companies must face corporate challenges that impact Supply Chain Management such as reengineering globalisation and outsourcing.
Why is it so important for companies to get products to their customers quickly? Faster product availability is key to increasing sales, says R. Michael Donovan of Natick, Mass.,
a management consultant specialising in manufacturing and information systems. "There's a substantial profit advantage for the extra time that you are in the market and your competitor is not," he says. "If you can be there first, you are likely to get more
orders and more market share." The ability to deliver a product faster also can make or break a sale. "If two alternative [products] appear to be equal and one is immediately available and the other will be available in a week, which would you choose? Clearly,
"Supply Chain Management has an important role to play in moving goods more quickly to their destination. "