Transforming Supply Chains

John Gattorna / Deborah Ellis  
Total pages
July 2019
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Reinvent your supply chain from the outside in – cut costs, growth revenue and increase customer satisfaction.

We are now seeing and experiencing increasing turbulence in practically all our major industries, which is leading to costly mis-alignments between suppliers and their customers/end users. The world is no longer as forgiving as it was a few decades ago. Customers going online have become increasingly demanding, and the operating environment has become exceedingly complex. This combination means that companies wishing to survive and thrive in the coming decades must transform themselves to become more agile and market responsive.

The problem is: where to start this transformation journey? We all pay lip service to being customer-centric, but the reality is that most of the world’s large corporations have built up their logistics networks (and by extension their enterprise supply chains) over many years of sunk investment, pursuing the flawed philosophy of ‘one-size-fits-all’.

The solution to this dilemma is the Dynamic Alignment™ framework, which directly links the target market, to the operational strategies, internal cultural capability, and leadership styles inside our enterprise. It will help you to adopt an ‘outside-in’ perspective of our market by seeing the world through the lens of our customers; and use the insights gained in this way to reverse engineer the capabilities inside our enterprises to more precisely align with customers’ expectations.

Transforming Supply Chains allows you to segment your customer’s expectations into not one, but several dominant buying behaviours. By identifying how your market is structured, you can develop matching value propositions and corresponding operational strategies for each behavioural segment identified and then use those findings to redefine the internal operating structure as well as the external supply chains. Companies already using this model have seen greater customer satisfaction, an uplift in revenue, and a reduction in costs. In some cases, companies have doubled their margins within a year.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Adapt or die – the problems facing traditional supply chains
  • 2 Dynamic alignment – a heuristic to cut through complexity
  • 3 ‘Outside-in’ design for supply chains
  • 4 Tailored supply chains give flexibility
  • 5 Decision making at a faster clockspeed
  • 6 Working in an omni-channel world
  • 7 Critical internal capabilities
  • 8 Digital strategies
  • 9 From a ‘static’ to ‘dynamic’ supply chain philosophy
  • 10 Future business models
  • 11 Transformation delivered

Back Cover

Reinvent your supply chain from the outside in – leverage customer insight, heuristics and digital tools to meet rising expectations and adapt in a volatile world.

Customers have become increasingly demanding, and the operating environment has become more turbulent and complex. Mature companies wishing to survive and thrive in the coming decades must transform themselves to become flexible and market responsive. They need to reconsider their traditional supply chains and find ways to increase the clockspeed of their operation and their decision making without creating more complexity for their staff and partners. 

But where to start this transformation journey? Most of the world’s largest corporations have logistics networks and supply chains that have evolved over time, many based around systems that drive a ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy, which does not fit anymore. And most have not kept up with the changing cadence of their markets.

 This book describes the path to a different paradigm; where a set of tailored supply chains are used for in-built flexibility and adaption as the world changes, and where internal capabilities and digital capabilities are consciously aligned with the customers and strategies they serve.

Transforming Supply Chains builds on John Gattorna’s seminal Dynamic Alignment framework; and he and his long-term collaborator Deborah Ellis review the analytics and decision-making tools needed to be effective in the digital age. Case Studies of organisations that excel using the ‘outside-in’ paradigm that they describe are scattered throughout the book; as are a series of prompts to help ‘kick start your thinking’ about your own transformation path.


Transforming Supply Chains is your guide to designing supply chains that fit, and adapt, and bring competitive advantage - whatever your business and whoever your customers.



John Gattorna and Deborah Ellis are long-term collaborators on the design and management of enterprise supply chains.

Dr John Gattorna has been one of the most influential voices in the development of the modern supply chain. His long-held vision of the supply chain as the central nervous system of an organisation and as a major source of competitive advantage if done well has inspired both supply chain professionals and CEOs.

To support this vision, he has led the development of frameworks and tools to guide design using customers as the sole frame-of-reference, thus ensuring precise alignment between enterprise supply chains and the markets/customers they serve.In 2018 John was awarded the Council of Supply Chain Management (CSCMP) Distinguished Service Award for his contribution to the profession, and in the same year was inducted into the CSCMP Hall of Fame.

Deborah Ellis has consulted with leading companies for over 20 years on logistics and supply chain strategy. Like John Gattorna, the emphasis of her work has been on developing tailored supply chains that generate market advantage. She has worked with him, and partnered with clients, to apply, refine and extend the frameworks and methodologies that simplify the supply chain task, while generating value for the customer and the business.

Since 2017 they have together presented the Global Supply Chain Thought Leadership Retreat Series for senior supply chain executives in the Asia Pacific, South Africa and Europe. These by-invitation-only events have been very well received, and this book has evolved from the research and discussions associated with those events.