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Business & Economics Production & Operations Management


How the Best Supply Chains Thrive

by (author) Rob Handfield & Tom Linton

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2022
Production & Operations Management, Strategic Planning, Leadership
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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With supply chain disruptions increasingly discussed in the media and impacting our daily lives, Flow offers an important framework and solutions for remedying the rampant delays and bottlenecks that exist in global supply chains.


This book describes the concept of flow, which evokes physical properties that exist in nature, such as the flow of electricity, the flow of materials, and the flow of time. In terms of process optimization, flow encompasses the integration of end-to-end supply chains and the movement toward relocation of global supply bases to nearshore/onshore geographies. Achieving flow is essential for organizations seeking to improve their supply chain performance in a time of increasing disruption.


This book highlights the high-level effectiveness of business strategies that use predictions based on the sequence of world events, global supply chains, and data by exchanged smart technologies. By broadly applying physical laws to the global supply chain, Rob Handfield and Tom Linton explore the impact of supply chain physics on global market policies, such as tariffs, factory location, pandemic response, supply base geographies, and outsourcing.


The authors provide specific recommendations on what to do to improve supply chain flows, and include important insights for managers with examples from companies such as Biogen, General Motors, Siemens, and Flex with regard to their response to COVID-19. Flow is an important resource not only for procurement and supply chain management professionals, but for any manager concerned with enterprise-level success.

About the authors

Rob Handfield, PhD is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University and Executive Director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative.

Rob Handfield's profile page

Tom Linton is a globally recognized thought leader, author, and former Chief Supply Chain Officer and Chief Procurement Officer. He is currently a senior advisor at McKinsey and Company, as well as executive advisory board member at supply chain software leaders Resilinc and Project 44.

Tom Linton's profile page