Supply Chain Strategies II: Improving Responsiveness & Advanced Topics (back to catalog)

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The second of two modules in our series on Supply Chain Strategies; learn about the Newsvendor model for inventory analysis under supply and demand uncertainty, demand management/yield management, and risk-sharing contracts between suppliers and customers. Modules SCM102 and SCM103 teach core supply chain concepts and strategies, and they should be covered before moving on to modules SCM104 through SCM106.

The second of our two modules on Supply Chain Strategies, this module will teach you a set of strategies designed for responsive supply chains. Building on the framework we presented in "SCM102: Supply Chain Strategies I: Aligning Strategies; Efficiency and Cost Savings (preview)", you will explore a set of concepts that will help improve customer response time and deal with highly uncertain demand. You will learn a powerful tool for hedging demand uncertainty, so that you can minimize your total cost by taking into account both the opportunity cost of stockouts and the costs of excess inventory. A simulation will show the real benefits - in revenues and profits - from reducing markdowns and stockouts, and the power of profit leverage.

You will learn several advanced, emerging strategies that apply to a wide range of supply chains. You'll see how to understand and cope with supply uncertainty to make your production process more reliable, use "active" demand management methods to minimize the impact of shortages, and discover new types of supplier arrangements that share risk among supply chain partners while providing benefits to all players. Finally, you'll see which of the strategies you've learned aren't software-intensive and understand how you should go about evaluating software for those cases where it is a critical part of the improvement strategy. This can prevent costly mistakes that don't move your company forward.


  • Learn strategies to improve supply chain responsiveness
  • Understand a crucial tool to set inventory levels and hedge demand uncertainty
  • See the significant benefits to revenues and profits through reductions in markdowns and stockouts
  • Learn several advanced strategies, including avoiding/reducing/hedging supply uncertainty, demand management, and a complete analysis of a risk-sharing contract


  • Improve responsiveness and shorten lead times for innovative products or those in the early stages of the product life cycle
  • Reduce costs/increase revenues by optimizing inventory levels under demand uncertainty
  • Create win-win situations with suppliers by implementing quantity-flexible contracts that share risk among supply chain partners
  • Save time and expense by understanding which supply chain strategies do not need expensive software for implementation
  • Reduce costs by learning ways of dealing successfully with supply uncertainty


List Price: $60 -

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Save $25 on "Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management" bundle; buy modules SCM102, SCM103, SCM104, SCM105, and SCM106 together and save $25 (see course catalog for details)

SCM103 Specifications

Title: Supply Chain Strategies II: Improving Responsiveness & Advanced Topics

4.1 / 5  (1030 ratings)

Total Reading Time: Approx. 1 - 2 hours (for average readers)

Word Count: Approx. 8,400 words


Certificate: Counts toward Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management

Datasheet:  Download


  1. Introduction to Responsive Strategies
  2. Accurate Response and Risk-Based Production Planning
  3. Build-to-Order (BTO), or Mass Customization
  4. Pre-positioning and Fast NPI
  5. Component Commonality
  6. Hedging Demand Uncertainty: The Newsvendor Model
  7. Hedging Uncertainty, Continued
  8. Quantifying the Benefits of Supply Flexibility
  9. Supply Uncertainty
  10. Avoiding Supply Uncertainty
  11. Reducing and Hedging Supply Uncertainty
  12. Demand Management
  13. Risk Sharing
  14. Risk Sharing, Continued
  15. Risk Sharing, Continued (2)
  16. The Role of Software
  17. Conclusions
  18. Test Your Knowledge
  19. Feedback
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