June 21, 2019

Information Technology and the Supply Chain

Based on Chopra and Meindl's book, Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation - A comprehensive introduction to  supply chain management.


The supply chain management (SCM) is concerned with the flow of products and information between the supply chain members that encompasses all of those organizations such as suppliers, producers, service providers and customers. In the supply chain, these organizations linked together to acquire, purchase, convert/manufacture, assemble, and distribute goods and services, from suppliers to the ultimate and users.

The cost and availability of information resources allow easy linkages and eliminate information-related time delays in any supply chain network. Organizations are adopting Electronic Commerce, where transactions are completed via a variety of electronic media, including electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic funds transfer (EFT), bar codes, fax, automated voice mail, CD-ROM catalogs, and a variety of others. The old “paper” type transactions are becoming increasingly becoming obsolete. Leading-edge organizations no longer require paper purchase requisitions; purchase orders, invoices, receiving forms, and manual accounts payable “matching” process. All required information is recorded electronically right at the origin, and associated transactions are performed with the minimum amount of human intervention.  With the application of the appropriate information systems, monitoring inventory levels, placing orders, and expediting orders will soon become totally automated.


The information systems and the technologies utilized in the supply chain represent one of the fundamental elements that link the organizations into a unified and coordinated system. In the current technology and process environment, little doubt remains about the importance of information and information technology to the ultimate success, and perhaps even the survival, of any supply chain management initiative. Cycle time reduction, implementing redesigned cross-functional processes, utilizing cross-selling opportunities require information. Timely and accurate information is more critical now than at any time.

Three factors have strongly impacted this change in the importance of information.

1) Satisfying customers have become something of a corporate obsession. Serving the customer in the best, most efficient and effective manner has become critical, and information about issues such as order status, product availability, delivery schedules, and invoices has become a necessary part of the total customer service experience.

2) Information is a crucial factor in the managers’ abilities to reduce inventory and human resources
requirements to a competitive level.

3) Information flows play an essential role in the strategic planning for and deployment of resources.

The need for virtually seamless bonds within and between organizations is a key notion in the essential nature of information systems in the development and maintenance of successful supply chain. That is, creating intra-organizational processes and link to facilitate delivery of seamless information between marketing, sales, purchasing, finance, manufacturing, distribution and transportation internally, as well as inter organizationally, to customers, suppliers, carriers across the supply chain will improve fill rates of the customers service, increase forecast accuracy, reduction in the total inventory and savings in the company’s’ transportation costs - goals which need
to be achieved.

In fact, inaccurate or distorted information from one end of a supply chain to the other can lead to tremendous inefficiencies such as excessive inventory investment, poor customer service, lost revenues, misguided capacity plans, ineffective transportation, and missed production schedules. Bullwhip effect, which is big variability in orders at factory level  is commonly experienced by the consumer goods industries due to lack of uniform information in the entire supply chain. Suitable technologies such as bar codes and scanners have been developed and applied in the supply chain to remove inaccuracy, time delays and gaps in communications.

Information Required to Manage Supply Chain at Global Scope Level

Supplier/Supply Information

What products can be purchased, at what price, with what lead time, and where they can be delivered. Supplier information also includes real time pending order status, purchase order amendments, and payment arrangements. This information can be used in product industrial engineering also.

Manufacturing Information

What products can be made, how many, by what facilities, with what lead time, with what trade-offs, at what cost, and in what batch size. This information can be used in process industrial engineering also.

Distribution and Retailing Information

Demand Information

e-business and the Supply Chain. - Review Notes

Global Complexity is driving Supply Chain Information  Systems into Cloud Wharton Knowledge Article January 2011

Updates on Software


London UK, 14th June - Siemens Digital Industries Software announced today the immediate availability of Siemens Opcenter™ software, a cohesive portfolio of software solutions for manufacturing operations management (MOM).

Siemens Opcenter integrates MOM capabilities including advanced planning and scheduling, manufacturing execution, quality management, manufacturing intelligence and performance, and formulation, specification and laboratory management. The new portfolio combines products including Camstar™ software, SIMATIC IT® suite, Preactor, R&D Suite and QMS Professional into a single portfolio that unifies these widely recognised products and leverages synergies between them. A fully web-based, modern, consistent, adaptive and comfortable user interface implemented throughout the Siemens Opcenter portfolio offers a situationally adapted user experience and facilitates the implementation of new capabilities and additional components while reducing training efforts.


Updated  22 June 2019,  10 Apr 2016
9 Dec 2011

June 20, 2019

Kotler and Keller - 14 Edition Marketing Management Brief

Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller
Marketing Management
14 Edition

Marketing Management - Issues and Themes Explained in Brief

1. Defining Marketing for the 21st Century

1. Why is marketing important?

Marketing identifies demand for unfulfilled needs. Marketing also provides input to decide what features to design into a new product or service, what prices to set, where to sell products or services and how much to spend on advertising and sales. It thus builds demand for products and services offered by the firm thus providing a top line for the firm from which profits can be made. There must be a top line for there to be a bottom line.

2. What is the scope of marketing?

Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs in profitable manner.

Marketers market 10 main types of entities: goods, services, events, experiences, persons, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas.

3. What are some core marketing concepts?

Needs, Wants and Demand
Segmentation and Target Markets
Offerings and Brands
Customer Value and Customer Satisfaction
Marketing Channels

4, How has marketing changed in recent years?

5. What are the tasks necessary for successful marketing management?

Developing Marketing Strategies and Plans.
Assessing Market Opportunities and Customer Value
Choosing Value
Designing Value
Delivering Value
Communicating Value
Sustaining Growth and Value

Detailed articles - Marketing Concept by Kotler - 14th Edition Extra coverage

2. Developing Marketing Strategies and Plans

1. How does marketing affect customer value?

A rational customer value delivery process is doing marketing at the beginning. There is homework or initial work to be done by marketing before a product is conceptualized or designed. The marketing staff have to identify the potential market for the likely product (product idea) and must segment the market and select the appropriate target segment and then only product can be finalized for its specific attributes. Kotler emphasized that segmentation, targeting, positioning (STP) is the essence of strategic marketing.

Once the business unit accepts to offer the value proposition supported by marketing as well as operations, further marketing activities include detailed product specifications, distribution system and price decisions. At the next stage, the value proposition is to be communicated in the market so that there are enough potential customers who are aware of the product and will be inclined to buy the product for the trial. Advertising through mass communication channels, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion campaigns are launched in this stage to make actual sales.

2. How is strategic planning carried out at different levels of organization?

In most large companies strategic plans are made at four levels: corporate level, division level, business level, and product level.

Developing Marketing Strategies for a Product

The information collected from the marketing research process to support marketing strategy decisions has to be analyzed to find stable and distinct market segments. The needs and potential of each segment needs to estimated and the segment that the market can serve best and make optimal profit is to be determined. For this selected target segment, differentiation decision for the product offered is to be arrived at and positioning strategy has to finalized. While differentiation can be in multiple attributes, position strategy calls for one or two features to be emphasized in communications so that position is associated with the company's product whenever a potential user thinks of the product.

The differentiation decision gives the signal for full development of the new product. Marketing has further role to play in the new product development process. The marketing strategy related to the product gets modified based on the life cycle stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. The marketing strategy is also influenced by the position the product gets in the competitive market place: leader, challenger, follower and niche player. Internationalization and globalization may become possible or may become necessary at some stage in the product life cycle and marketing strategy may need to redeveloped taking into consideration the expanded market.

3. What does  a marketing plan include?
A marketing plan is a written document that summarizes what the marketer has learned about the market place and indicates how the firm plans to reach its marketing objectives.

Detailed articles - Marketing Strategy and Marketing Process

3. Scanning the Marketing Environment, Forecasting Demand, and Conducting Marketing Research

1. What are the components of a modern marketing information system?

Marketers have the major responsibility for identifying significant marketplace opportunities and trends.  For this purpose, firms have to organize and distribute a continuous flow of marketing information. A marketing information system consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to various marketing decision makers. It has three major components: 1. internal company records 2. marketing intelligence activities  3. a marketing research system.

2. What are useful internal records for such a system?

Orders, Sales Invoices, Customer payments, Customer complaints

3. What makes up a marketing intelligence system?

Marketing intelligence system is a set of procedures and sources used by marketers to obtain every day information about pertinent developments in the marketing environment (Kotler). Marketing intelligence focuses on current happenings.

4. What are some influential macroeconomic developments?

1. Demographic Environment.
Earth's population totaled 6.8 billon in 2010 and may well exceed 9 billion in 2040.
Developing world is growing at 1 to 2% and developed world is growing at 0.3%.
India with 1.2 billion population is forecasted to become world's third largest economy by 2040.

Old people are increasing the population.  In 1995 there were 371 million old people. By 2050, this number will go up to one billion. So the items consumed by old people have to be produced in greater quantities.

5. How can companies accurately measure and forecast demand?

Companies use time series analysis to forecast demand using past data and regression models to forecast a product's sales using the estimates made for economy and industry. Salespersons are asked to give their forecast of demand in their areas. Expert opinion is obtained. For new distribution channels market test results are the basis for forecasting.

6. What constitutes good marketing research?

Marketing research is the systematic design, collection, analysis and reporting of data and findings relevant to specific marketing situation facing the company.

The Marketing Research Process

1. Define the problem, the decision alternatives, and the research objectives
2. Develop the research plan
3. Collect the information
4. Analyze the information
5. Present the findings
6. Make the decision

7. What are the best metrics for measuring marketing productivity?

Marketing Metrics and Marketing-Mix Modeling

Marketing cost per unit sold

8. How can marketers assess their return on investment of marketing expenditures?

By measuring impact on Customer Metrics like percentage of target market customers who have brand awareness or recall, Percentage of customers who correctly identify the brands intended positioning and differentiation, Percentage of target market customers who made a trial purchase of the product, Percentage who say they would repurchase the product etc.

Detailed Articles - Scanning of Environment for Marketing - Market Research and Market Demand Forecasting

Chapter 4

Creating Customer Value and Customer Relationships

1. What are customer value, satisfaction, and loyalty,and how can companies deliver them?

Customers tend to be value maximizers or perceived value maximizers, within the bounds of search costs and limited knowledge, mobility and income. Customers evaluate various offers available to satisfy a need and estimate the perceived value of each offer. Customer-perceived value (CPV) is the difference between the prospective customer's evaluation of all the benefits and all the costs of an offering.  Total customer benefit is the perceived monetary value of the bundle of economic, functional, and psychological benefits customers expect from a given market offering because of the products, accompanying services and image involved. Total customer cost is the perceived bundle of costs customers expect to incur in evaluating, obtaining, using, and disposing of the given market offering, including monetary, time, energy, and psychological costs.

2. What is the lifetime value of customers, and how can marketers maximize it?

The amount of goods a customer is likely to buy from the company and thereby contribute to its profits can be estimated from the past buying behavior and anticipated trends. This gives an estimate of customer life time value.Customer acquisition cost has to be less than it and also if a customer leaves the company it is a value loss and this can be also be calculated. These calculations guide the actions company takes to retain customers.

3. How can companies attract and retain the right customers and cultivate strong customer relationships?

Customer relationship management emerged as an important marketing area once relationship marketing concept was created. One aspect of CRM is maintenance and use of detailed information about individual customers and their touch points with the company.

4. What are pros and cons of database marketing.

Benefits of Database Marketing

1. Prospects can be identified.
2. Decisions regarding which customers should receive a particular offer can be taken.
3. Customer loyalty can be increased by sending information of particular interest to a customer.
4. Customer purchases can be reactivated by sending a timely reminder.
5. Properly maintained and used database will help in preventing some marketing mistakes or errors.

Problems in Using Databases

1. There is a significant cost involved in developing and maintaining a database.
2. Employees have to trained in using databases and taking marketing decisions.
3. Some customers may not like the database marketing initiatives.
4. The assumptions behind CRM may not always hold true.

Detailed article - Building Customer Value, Satisfaction and Loyalty

Chapter 6.

Analyzing Consumer Markets

1. How do consumer characteristics influence buying behavior?

The personal factors that have an influence on consumption patterns and behavior:
Age and Stage in the Life Cycle
Occupation and Economic Circumstances
Personality and Self Concept
Lifestyle and Values

2. What major psychological processes influence consumer responses to the marketing program?

Consumer affect and cognition refer to two types of mental responses consumers exhibit toward stimuli and events in their environment. Affect refers to their feelings about stimuli and events, such as whether they like or dislike a product. Cognition refers to their thinking, such as their beliefs about a particular product. Consumer behavior refers to the physical actions of consumers that can be directly observed and measured by others. It is also called overt behavior to distinguish it from mental activities (cognition), such as thinking, that cannot be observed directly.  Behavior is critical for marketing strategy because only through behavior can sales be made and profits earned. 

3. How do consumers make purchasing decisions?

4. In what ways do consumers stray from a deliberative, rational decision process?
Detailed articles - Consumer behavior

Chapter 7. Analyzing Business Markets

1. What is the business market and how does it differ from the consumer market?

Organization buying is the decision-making process by which formal organizations establish the need for purchased products and services and identify, evaluate, and choose among alternative brands and suppliers. 

It differs from the consumer market in some characteristics: 

1. Consumer market is a huge market in millions of consumers where organizational buyers are limited in number for most of the products.
2. The purchases are in large quantities.
3. Close relationships and service are required.
4. Demand is derived from the production and sales of buyers.
5. Demand fluctuations are high as purchases from business buyers magnify fluctuation in demand for their products.
6. The organizational buyers are trained professionals in purchasing.

2. What buying situations do organizational buyers face?

Straight rebuy, Modified rebuy, New task buy, Systems buy

3. Who participates in the business-to-business buying process?

Organizational buying process is a team process and the team or the buying decision-making unit of the organization is called a buying center. The buying center consists of all persons of the organizations who are involved in the buying process playing one or the other seven roles: Initiators, Users, Influencers, Deciders, Approvers, Buyers, and Gatekeepers.

4. How do business buyers make their decisions?

5. How can companies build strong relationships with business customers?

6. How do institutional buyers and government agencies do their buying?

Detailed articles: Organizational Buying Processes and Buying Behavior

Chapter 8.

Identifying Market Segments and Targets

1. What are the different levels of market segmentation?
2. In what ways can a company divide a market into segments?
3. What are the requirements for effective segmentation?
4. How should business markets be segmented?
5. How should a company choose the most attractive target markets?

Detailed Articles - Market Segmentation and Selection of Target Markets

Part 4: Building Strong Brands

Chapter 9.

Creating Brand Equity

1.What is a brand and how does branding work?

Brand is name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.

The purpose of branding is to create demand for the product that a particular firm is offering or marketing or selling. A satisfied buyer can repurchase the same product only when it is identified uniquely and branding provides the means through firms provide unique identification to their products targeted at various segments in the product or need market.

2. What is brand equity?

Brand equity brand value is associate with the customers. If more customers recognize the brand and show preference for the brand, the brand has more value. Customer-based brand equity is the differential effect brand has on consumer response to the marketing activities of that brand. A brand has positive customer-based brand equity or value when consumers react more favorably to a product's marketing activity conducted with the brand name in comparison to marketing activity conducted without disclosing the brand name.

3. How is brand equity measured and managed?

BrandAsset Valuator
Brand Resonance Model

Brand audit
Brand tracking studies
Brand reinforcement
Brand revitalization

4. What are the important brand architecture decisions involved in developing a branding strategy?
Choosing Brand elements
Developing brand elements

Decisions to use either or combinations of - Corporate umbrella brand name - Separate product family brand names - Target offer brand name.

Chapter 10. Crafting the Brand Position

1. How can a firm develop and establish an effective positioning in the marketg?
2. How do marketers identify and analyze competition?
3. How are brands successfully  differentiated?
4. What are the differences in positioning and branding with a small business?

Chapter 11. Competitive Dynamics

1. How can market leaders expand the total market and defend market share?
2. How should market challengers attack market leaders?
3. How can market followers or nichers compete effectively?
4. What marketing strategies are appropriate at each stage of he product life cycle?
5. How should marketers adjust their strategies and tactics for an economic downturn or recession?

Part 5: Shaping the Market

Chapter 12.

Setting Product Strategy

1. What are the characteristics of products, and how do marketers classify products?
2. How can companies differentiate products?
3. Why is product design important and what factors affect a good design?
4.How can a company build and manage its product mix and product lines?
5. How can companies combine products to create strong co-brands or ingredient brands?
6. How can companies use packaging, labeling, warranties,, and guarantees as marketing tools?

Chapter 13.

Designing and Managing Services

1. How do we define and classify services, and how do they differ from goods?
2. What are the new services realities?
3. How can we achieve excellence in services marketing?
4. How can we improve service quality?
5. How can goods marketers improve customer-support services?

Chapter 14.

Developing Pricing Strategies and Programs

1. How do consumers process and evaluate prices?
2. How should a company set prices initially for products or services?
3. How should a company adapt prices to meet varying circumstances and opportunities?
4. When should a company initiate a price change?
5. How should a company respond to a competitor's price change?

Part 6: Delivering Value

Chapter 15.

Designing and Managing Integrated Marketing Channels

1. What is a marketing channel system and value network?
2. What work do marketing channels perform?
3. How should channels be designed?
4. What decisions do companies face in managing their channels?
5. How should companies integrate channels and manage channel conflict?
6. What are the key issues with e-commerce and m-commerce?

Chapter 16.

Managing Retailing, Wholesaling, and Logistics

1. What major types of marketing intermediaries occupy this sector?
2. What marketing decisions do these marketing  intermediaries make?
3. What are the major trends with marketing intermediaries?
4. What does the future hold for private label brands?

Part 7: Communicating Value

Chapter 17.

Designing and Managing Integrated Marketing Communications

1. What is the role of marketing communications?
2. How do marketing communications work?
3. What are the major steps in developing effective communications?
4. What is the communications mix, and how should it be set?
5. What is an integrated marketing communication program?

Detailed Articles - Integrated Marketing Communications - Marketing Communication Channels

Chapter 18. Managing Mass Communications: Advertising, Sales Promotions, Events and Experiences, and Public Relations

1. What steps are required in developing an advertising program?
2. How should sales promotion decisions be made?
3. What are the guidelines for effective brand-building events and experiences?
4. How can companies exploit the potential of public relations and publicity?

Chapter 19.

Managing Personal Communications: Direct and Interactive Marketing, Word of Mouth, and Personal Selling

1. How can companies conduct direct marketing for competitive advantage?
2 How can companies carry out effective interactive marketing?
3. How does word of mouth affect marketing success?
4. What decisions do companies face in designing and managing a sales force?
5. How can salespeople improve their selling, negotiating, and relationship marketing skills?

Detailed Articles -  Direct Marketing - Interactive Marketing -  Sales Process Steps - Sales Force Management

Part 8: Creating Successful Long-Term Growth

Chapter 20.

Introducing New Marketing Offerings

1. What challenges does a company face in developing new products and services?
2. What organizational structures and processes do managers use to oversee new-product development?
3. What are the main stages in developing new products and services?
4. What is the best way to manage the new-product development process?
5. What factors affect the rate of diffusion and consumer adoption of newly launched products and services?

Detailed Article: Marketing and New Product Development

Chapter 21.

Tapping into Global Markets

1. What factors should a company review before deciding to go abroad?
2. How can companies evaluate and select specific foreign markets to enter?
3. What are the differences between marketing in a developing and a developed market?
4. What are the major ways of entering a foreign market?
5. To what extent must the company adapt its products and marketing program to each foreign country?
6. How do marketers influence country-of-origin effects?
7.  How should the company manage and organize its international activities?

Chapter 22.

Managing a Holistic Marketing Organization

1. What are important trends in marketing practices?
2. What are the keys to effective internal marketing?
3. How can companies be responsible social marketers?
4. How can a company improve its marketing skills?
5. What tools are available to monitor and improve their marketing activities?

Updated on 22 June 2019, 2 May 2019

June 11, 2019

Management - Definition: Koontz and O’Donnell – Narayana Rao - Slides Content

Management Definition: Koontz and O’Donnell – Narayana Rao

1. Koontz and O’Donnell – Weihrich – 10th Edition

"Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, effectively and  efficiently,  accomplish selected aims."

This definition implies:
1. As managers, people carry out the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.
2. Management applies to any kind of organization.
3. It applies to managers at all organizational levels.
Management definition implies
4. The aim of all managers is the same: to create a surplus.
5. Managing is concerned with productivity; this implies effectiveness and efficiency.

2. Shortcomings of the definition – Koontz and O’Donnell - Weihrich

The process of management is being explained as an implication.
Redefining Management to include the process in the definition is possible.

3. Management Definition – Narayana Rao

Management of an organization is the process of establishing objectives and goals of the organization periodically, designing the work system and the human organization structure, and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, accomplish their aims and objectives and goals of the organization effectively and efficiently. (3rd December 2008)

Implications of Definition of Narayana Rao’s  Management Definition

(i) Management is a process.
(ii) Management applies to every kind of organization, government, profit making, or nonprofit making.
(iii) It applies to managers at all levels in the organization.
Management - Effectiveness and Efficiency Implication
(iv) Management is concerned with effectiveness and efficiency.
v) Management has to organize the material resources and human resources required to attain the objectives and goals of the organization. Work system is the material resources organization. Organization structure is the human resource organization.

Effectiveness is producing the product or service the customer wants in business context with the required functional benefits and product attributes at the price he is willing to pay.

Efficiency is minimization of resources to produce the saleable output.

4. Management – Efficiency – Industrial Engineering

In the case of engineering companies, Industrial Engineering, a management discipline with engineering as the primary underlying subject takes care of efficiency dimension.

Efficiency is minimization of resources to produce the saleable output.

Industrial engineering has as its focus productivity of each resource (especially engineering resources) and thus total productivity of all resources used in producing and distributing (marketing, selling, delivering and servicing) the product.

Updated on 12 June 2019, 2 May 2019

Evolution of Management Thought and Theory - Review Notes

Evolution of Management Thought and Theory

Organization of human beings for the attainment of common objectives is ages old. But in the scientific tradition, development of management theory is only around 100 years old.

Adam Smith did mention issues of entrepreneurship and increased efficiency due to specialisation. Marshall also touched upon efficiency in industrial work. But serious attention to individual firm issues in economics occurred only after 1840s.

Henry Varnum Poor discussed issues of managing a big business concern especially in railroad business during the period 1850 to 1862 as editor of American Railroad Journal.

Charles Babbage documented some issues related to efficiency of manufactures. But it was F.W. Taylor who gave the call for development of science by managers for all human activities in production processes and by implication for all man-machine activity and laid the foundation for development of theory in management in 1911. Following the scientific method,  subsequent to Taylor number of books and monographs appeared.  Henri Fayol in 1916, came out with the explanation for management as an activity distinct from other industrial activities - technical, commercial, financial, accounting and security.

Fayol came out with the list of functions of management as planning, organizing, command, co-ordination and control.  L. Gulick and L. Urwick expanded it to POSDCORB. Koontz and O'Donnell suggested planning, organizing, staffing, directing and control. This approach of explaining management theory is being called operational approach. Professor Narayana Rao suggests planning, organizing, resourcing, executing and controlling as the appropriate steps for operational approach.

Professors and researchers belonging to Psychology field have developed management related theories practices related to human behavior in organizations. Sociologists also brought in their knowledge of group behavior.

Statisticians found that management requires forecasting and statistical forecasting techniques have application. Then they developed application of statistical samples in process control and in reducing 100% inspection to inspections based on samples. Quality management area has benefited a lot form statistical thinking. Six sigma, a technique to investigate the process to reduce its variance based on experiments and the statistical analysis of resulting data has given significant benefits to organization to reduce defects and costs.

Operations research is application of scientific method to business decision making thought earlier to be complex. OR scholars formulated the complex decision making situations into mathematical models involving objective functions and constraints and developed procedures to find optimal combinations of decision variables. A large number of business decisions became better and managers were forced to include quantitative methods in their day to day functioning.

The advent of computers also brought a change in management practice. Commercial transactions are being now done using computers at both ends. Data is being captured and analyzed by the computer programs. Hence lot data processing earlier done human component is now being done by computers. Hence there was a drastic reengineering of business processes.

The development of management through various disciplines is being described in more detail in individual articles.

Scientific Management

Scientific management - Taylor

F.W. Taylor identified that efficiency of processes is not getting adequate attention of the managers. He focused his attention on using machine tools in machines shops more efficiently by employing higher cutting speeds, feeds and depths of cut. For that purpose he conducted number of experiments and from the data, he developed the laws of economic machining.

From the success, that he has achieved in improving the efficiency of use of machine tools, Taylor's attention moved to other production processes.  Taylor recognized the importance of man's effort in man-machine systems and he came to the conclusion that completing an activity in less time leads to efficiency. That insight led to the development of time study. Taylor developed the technique of time study and starting doing time studies of various ways of doing the same work. That helped in identifying the most efficient method of doing that element of the work and Taylor advocated that management train all the operators doing that activity in the most efficient method. Time study also allowed study of various operators doing the same activity and helped in identifying the most efficient method and in training all other operators in that method. Using time study as the foundation, Taylor varied sizes and shapes of various hand tools used by workmen and came out with identifying the best tools to be used in an activity.

Thus,the idea that management has to take care of efficiency,  is the first major development in modern management thought. Taylor gave his thoughts on management through three important publications, Piece rate system, Shop Management and Scientific Management. In Scientific Management, he gave four principles.

Taylor being an engineer, advocated the teaching of principles of efficiency to engineers through a subject named industrial engineering.



More detailed article: Scientific Management - Foundation and Development of the Approach

General management - Fayol

Fayol is the CEO and Chairman of a mining company. He brought out the fact that management is not being taught as a subject. He advocated that management can be taught as a subject.

He presented a paper outlining the content that can be taught. Fayol discussed the ideas of Taylor in his paper and advocated that Taylor's ideas are applicable in many more work systems.

Operational Management Theory - Henri Fayol  -  Summary of Fayol's Book

Contribution of Behavioral school

The behavioral school identified more variable capable of increasing productivity apart from the technology or process improvement and financial incentives identified and advocated by Taylor, other proponents of scientific management and industrial engineering.  They found that the improvement in productivity is also due to such social factors as morale, satisfactory interrelationships between members of  work group (a sense of belonging), and effective management - a kind of managing that takes into account human behavior, especially group behavior and maintains a climate where the worker feels psychologically and socially satisfied.

In terms of scholars and managers who contributed to the behavioral school, Hugo Munsterberg published Psychology and Industrial Efficiency in 1912. Lillian Gilbreth published Psychology of Management in 1914. Elton Mayo, F.J. Roethlisberger and others undertook famous Hawthorne experiments during 1927 to 1932.

Elton Mayo - Narayana Rao  Synthesis - Utilization of Human Sciences in Industry

Human Effort Industrial  Engineering for Increasing Productivity - Principle of Industrial Engineering


Quantitative School

The contributors from this school converted many management problems into mathematical models and solved them for coming out with optimal decisions. Decisions that will provide maximum profits for the given or assumed situation or minimum costs.

Systems Approach

Systems approach in one way is an extension of mathematical approach whereby, the entire working of an organization is modeled and its working over a period of time is visualized through repeated cycles. Many times the outputs of the system feed into the system as inputs for the next period and system behavior can change based on these inputs. For example, profits are ploughed back and capital of the organization increase enabling the organization to grow. Customer happiness or unhappiness becomes an input for the next period. Similarly job satisfaction of the employees is also a variable which is an output in one period and becomes input for the next period.  Government,  general public and media may also become stakeholders and have their impact on the organization.

More detailed article on system approach is now developed.

See what this lecture on A Systems Approach to Airport Systems Planning, Design and Management explains the approach


MIT Systems Design Management Course Video
Prof Richard de Neufville

Management Timeline - From Ancient Days


Approaches to Management Analysis
(List given by Heinz Weihrich, Mark V. Cannice and Harold Koontz)

Empirical or Case Approach

Managerial Roles Approach

Contingency or Situational Approach

Mathematical or Management Science Approach

Decision Theory Approach

Reengineering Approach

Systems Approach

Sociotechnical Systems Approach

Cooperative Social Systems Approach

Group Behavior Approach

Interpersonal Behavior Approach

McKinsey's 7-S Framework

Total Quality Management Approach

Management Process or Operational Approach

Koontz and O'Donnell now  Weirich, Cannice and Koontz integrate and discuss the important ideas of all  the above approaches and present it under the

Management process framework - Koontz, Weirich and Cannice

Planning - Organizing -Staffing - Leading - Controlling

Management process framework - Narayana Rao

Planning - Organizing - Resourcing  - Executing - Controlling


Management: A Global and Entrepreneurial Perspective
Henry Weihrich, Mark V. Cannice and Harold Koontz
13 Edition, 2010
McGraw Hill

Second article of the day for revision: Scientific Management - Foundation and Development of the Approach

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

Evolution of Strategic Management Concepts

Updated 12 June 2019,  2 May 2019,   9 September 2018,  4 August 2018,  18 Jan,  9 Jan 2016, 17 Sep 2015, 29 Dec 2014

June 8, 2019

Supply Chain Management - Subject Update

Globally Popular Content

Supply Chain Management - Online Book 

Supply Chain Management - Revision Notes of All Chapters Based on Chopra and Meindl's Book


London UK, 14th June - Siemens Digital Industries Software announced today the immediate availability of Siemens Opcenter™ software, a cohesive portfolio of software solutions for manufacturing operations management (MOM).

Siemens Opcenter integrates MOM capabilities including advanced planning and scheduling, manufacturing execution, quality management, manufacturing intelligence and performance, and formulation, specification and laboratory management. The new portfolio combines products including Camstar™ software, SIMATIC IT® suite, Preactor, R&D Suite and QMS Professional into a single portfolio that unifies these widely recognised products and leverages synergies between them. A fully web-based, modern, consistent, adaptive and comfortable user interface implemented throughout the Siemens Opcenter portfolio offers a situationally adapted user experience and facilitates the implementation of new capabilities and additional components while reducing training efforts.


IBM Launches Supply Chain Anomaly Detection Tool
By PYMNTS Posted on May 15, 2019

Top Companies for Supply Chain Excellence 2018

Zero-Based Productivity Management of Supply Chain - McKinsey Way Supply Chain Industrial Engineering

Supply Chain Industrial Engineering - Online Book (2013-2019)


Automation in supply chains

Where I see Procurement in 2025
June 26, 2018
Mark Perera
CEO of Old St Labs / Founder of Procurement Leaders

A road map for digitizing source-to-pay
By Kalit Jain and Ed Woodcock
April 2017


IBM Procurement's New Chapter: Innovation ebook




August 2017

10 ways big data is revolutionising supply chain management

March 2016

Procurement Trends in India - ISM - India - 2016 Survey

Smart Supply Chains - IBM Paper

Adoption ABC Costing

Supply Chain Cost Cutting
http://www.percon.com/whitepapers/Supply_Chain_Cost-Cutting_Strategies.pdf  - 2007

M2M Model and Supply Chains

About Access Sup Chain Software

May 2015

Supply Chain Engineering - Activity Based Cost Management

April 2015

Supply Chain Management - Coordination - Updated

March 2015

Selection of Supplier in a Two Stage Supply Chain - An Integer Linear Programming Approach
A. John Rajan, K. Ganesh, and K.N. Balan

Uploaded by A. John Rajan

Cost-effective supply chains: Optimizing product development through integrated design and sourcing

PWC Sup Chain survey results

Efficient Transportation Logistics Can Reduce Other Supply Chain Costs

January 2015

Top 25 Supply Chains of 2014


25 Nestle

Innovative Methods in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

August 2014 book - Collected articles. Appx 500 pages
You can download the full book from

IRMS|360 Enterprise Supply Chain Management Software

irms|360 Enterprise is designed to optimize efficiency at every level of the distribution supply chain. End-to-end visibility of products, people and process helps your organization achieve an unprecedented level of accountability. Higher visibility leads to absolute efficiency, improving customer satisfaction and increasing profits.

With off-the-shelf integration to industry leading manufacturing (MRP), enterprise (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, irms|360 Enterprise is a cloud-based solution that can be delivered over the web as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or can be delivered as an on-premise solution.

Best and All Time Best Supply Chain Management Books

- Clockspeed: Winning Industry Control in the Age of Temporary Advantage by Charles H. Fine

- Designing and Managing the Supply Chain by David Simchi-Levi, Philip Kaminsky and Edith Simchi-Levi

- Essentials of Supply Chain Management by Michael H. Hugos

- Logistics and Supply Chain Management by Martin Christopher

- Logistics Management and Strategy: Competing through the Supply Chain   by Alan Harrison and Remko Van Hoek

- Purchasing and Supply Chain Management by Robert Monczka, Robert Handfield, Larry Giunipero and James Patterson

- Purchasing and Supply Chain Management: Analysis, Strategy, Planning and Practice by Arjan J. Van Weele

- Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Five Core Disciplines for Top Performance by Shoshanah Cohen and Joseph Roussel

- Supply Chain Logistics Management by Donald Bowersox, David Closs and M. Bixby Cooper

- Supply Chain Management, Strategy, Planning and Operation by Sunil Chopra and Peter Meindl

- The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage  by Yossi Sheffi


Supply Chain Management  Subject Update - 2014

Updated on 10 June 2019, 17 May 2019,  1 May 2019,  28 June 2017,  22 August 2017,  8 March 2016, 8 Dec 2015

Inspection Methods Efficiency Engineering

Inspection Productivity Improvement - Inspection Industrial Engineering

Inspection of Output of Engineering Processes is Engineering Activity. Inspection of Machines is Engineering Activity. Inspection of Machine Setup is Engineering Activity. As all engineering activities and outputs are industrial engineered, inspection methods are also redesigned by industrial engineers to increase productivity.

Pioneers of industrial engineering since F.W. Taylor made contributions to improve productivity of inspection activities. 

Statistical quality control methods are promoted by industrial engineering profession as a means of increasing the efficiency of inspection methods.

Method studies were employed to improve the efficiency of inspectors. We have examples of method studies in inspection departments in texts of industrial engineering. Even F.W. Taylor did method studies in inspection departments. (Scientific Management, page 86)

The inspectors were working for ten and half hours every day with a half day Saturday holiday.

Initially the inspectors (all girls) were told that the work day can be made 10 hours and they can do the same work as they are doing now in ten hours and they will be paid the same wage for the day. The girls agreed with the change.

Mr. Thompson recognized that persons of low personal coefficient were required for inspection job.

It is necessary in almost all cases to take definite steps to insure against any falling off in quality before moving in any way towards an increase in quantity. An accurate daily record was kept for each inspector for quantity and quality.

Time study was done. It was observed that after one half hours of work they become nervous. So rest break of 10 minutes was arranged after one and quarter hour.

Differential system was put into practice.

Measurement of output was done each hour and a teacher was sent to correct shortcomings in methods.

35 girls did the work that was previously done by 120 girls. Accuracy of work was two-thirds greater at the higher productivity than at lower productivity. The inspectors received 80 to 100% more wages on average.  (Read the full description of Taylor's work on inspection in Illustrations of Success of Scientific Management - Bicycle Balls Inspection Example - Taylor

Poka Yoke is the recent contribution of industrial engineers in the inspection methods efficiency engineering.

Industrial engineers design number of jigs to make inspection faster and comfortable.

Article Part of the Industrial Engineering Course Articles
Introduction to Industrial Engineering - Course at NITIE

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New Pipe Weld Inspection Solution from GE Increases Productivity and Reduces Inspection Constraints

High Speed Inspection Systems from Olympus

Complete inspection solution for increased productivity in paper manufacturing

Software for mechanical integrity inspection activities

Inspection Productivity improves with ALL NEW work holding and fixture plates!
As QC Inspectors you may be measured on contributions you make to improve your inspection process. Be the first to introduce this brand new line of inspection work holding designed with “lean” principles in mind.

Remote Visual Inspection — A Technical Solution to Improve Inspector Safety and Productivity

GE’s Pipe Weld Inspection Solution Now Offers Greater Productivity and Scope

As a leading provider of innovative heat exchanger inspection solutions for a wide variety of industries, AcousticEye is changing the way the world inspects and monitors its heat exchanger tubes. Our products utilize cutting-edge technologies to deliver value, enhance productivity and ensure safety for our global customer base.

Rudolph Technologies Launches High-Productivity AXi 940 Inspection Module

Originally posted at
http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/inspection-methods-efficiency/2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2595#
Published on the blog in 2011
Updated 22 July 2013

Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan - One Year Plan

January - February - March - April - May - June

July - August - September - October - November - December

Updated 9 June 2019,  9 June 2017, 23 July 2013

Resource and Capacity Management

Book Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World Class Practice (1992)
Taylorism and Professional Education of Engineers

Capacity Planning

Recent Papers and Articles - Year-Wise

Capacity planning in a digital age KPMG
Today’s digital capabilities are enabling capacity planning to go to new levels.

Technology optimization and change management to improve strategic, tactical, and operational supply chain processes KPMG

Strategic Capacity Management When Customers Have Boundedly Rational Expectations
Tingliang Huang,  Qian Liu
 Production and Operations Management
Volume24, Issue12, December 2015, Pages 1852-1869

Dekkers 2012

Dekkers 2009

Capacity Management - A Practitioner Guide
Adam Grummit
Van Haren, 29-Jul-2009 - Education - 234 pages
Capacity Management is described in most key ITSM frameworks: ITIL, ISO 20000 Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and the Application Service Library (ASL) all note the importance of Capacity Management. This major title meets the need for an in-depth practical guide to this critical process. Written and reviewed by some of the world’s most respected experts in this field it shows how Capacity Management best practice can support provision of a consistent, acceptable service level at a known and controlled cost. Practical advice covers the essential control of two balances: Supply versus demand and resources versus cost. In times of mean, frugal economic measures, it is essential to focus on those practices that are effective and yield practical results. In enlightened times of sustainability, it is also a requirement to find solutions that satisfy the criteria for 'greenness'. This excellent title shows how Capacity Management works not only within an IT environment but also why it is pivotal in meeting high profile business demands. Aligns with ISO/IEC 20000 and ITIL® ­ISO/IEC lists a set of required capacity management deliverables ­ITIL outlines what should be done in capacity management ­this book starts to describe how to do it Covers details of what capacity management is all about: ­what is capacity management ­why do it – benefits and cost-benefit analysis ­how to do it – data-flows and activities ­who does it – roles and perspectives ­implementation, maintenance, improvement, tools Provides comprehensive templates and checklists: ­objectives, interfaces and data-flows, sub-practices and activities ­metrics, application sizing parameters, data for modelling ­deliverables, reports, CMMI levels, KPIs, risk matrix sample capacity plan

Operations Management Body of Knowledge (2008)
Table of Contents

Dekkers 2000

John Hill, Ricardo Costa, Eduardo Jardim, (1992) "Strategic Capacity Planning and Production Scheduling in Jobbing Systems", Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 3 Issue: 3, pp.22-26, https://doi.org/10.1108/09576069210015874

Describes a package which uses discrete event simulation as an aid to managers/planners in this area. This computer system makes it possible to describe the workload of a jobbing firm, together with the constraints imposed by product structure and manufacturing capacity. The manager is able to test alternative Queue Disciplines, priorities and extensions to capacity, in order to find a schedule of work which balances the strategic objectives of the firm and the requirements of the customer.