The Market-Driven Supply Chain: A Revolutionary Model for Sales and Operations Planning in the New On-Demand Economy

Robert P Burrows, III, foreward by Lora Cecere and Gregory Hackett, Amacom, 2012, 288 pp., $39.95 (book).

In this book, Burrows provides the transformational steps required to achieve a market-driven supply chain resulting in a business that is highly responsive to the demand economy, while also allowing for specific customer needs to be addressed and delivered.

Market segmentation is required to achieve sales and operations planning (S&OP). After a business has decided how to section the market, it must determine how to deliver value to customers. The four traditional strategy options are: lowest cost, highest market share, location advantage and innovative leadership. Proper data assessment helps decide which is best suited for your business plan.

Each chapter contains many illustrations and graphs, a summary that reviews the important points and a case study. This helps illustrate the concept and its implementation. There is also an index for finding specific issues or areas of focus.

 It will take hard work and dedication to convert your business to this type of operation. Fortunately, Burrows includes a change agent model that includes communication, collaborative execution and performance measures. The guiding principles of S&OP are always foremost in the discussion and execution.

It will take time and a dedicated team, but after the model is in place, your business should become more efficient, customer responsive and it will grow.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals, Inc.

Auditing Beyond Compliance: Using the Portable
Universal Quality Lean Audit Model

Janet Bautista Smith, ASQ Quality Press, 2012, 112 pp., $20 member, $34 list (book and CD-ROM).

This book is an eye opener and a useful reminder for other management system auditors who are searching for ways to conduct more value-added audits. The author introduces the portable universal quality lean (PUQL) audit model which, when used in conjunction with several simple and commonly used lean Six Sigma tools, can lead to identification of opportunities for improvement, innovation and growth.

The PUQL model uses an audit template that integrates the compliance verification and improvements that can be applied to standards, processes and products. Two unique concepts introduced in this book that differentiate it from other auditing books are:

The PUQL model itself which, like a universal adaptor, allows the auditor to connect to and use several different management system standards interchangeably.

The concept that audits are not simply compliance tools but also can be employed to improve business management.

Although the book is written for first-party auditors, there is no reason second and third-party auditors could not benefit from the PUQL audit model. The book comes with a CD-ROM that includes a MS PowerPoint presentation on auditing beyond compliance training, and the PUQL template and its introduction document. I found several typographical errors in the book, and the fact that the PUQL template is in a PDF format makes it difficult to use. However, I strongly recommend this book for both novice and experienced auditors alike.

Herzl Marouni
ABS Consulting

Reliability and Availability of Cloud Computing 

Eric Bauer and Randee Adams, Wiley-IEEE Press 2012, 352 pp., $65.60 (book).

This is a wonderful book written in a clear and comprehensive way by two experienced experts. The authors’ audience consists of system architects, developers, engineers, sales people, product management and quality management professionals.

The authors address issues of reliability, availability and risks of information system services, including detailed risk mitigation strategies. The book discusses aspects of virtualization, capacity and elasticity, service orchestration, geo-redundancy and disaster recovery.

What is missing—but could probably be part of a follow-up book—are examples of data analysis and reporting. The topic deserves a wider treatment of statistical analysis and data analytics related to the topic at hand.

The book is well-written and comprehensive. It can be used as a reference for anyone involved in cloud computing. It is highly recommended to practitioners, users, developers and researchers in this challenging and state-of-the art domain.

Ron S. Kenett
KPA Ltd.
Raanana, Israel

The Metrology Handbook

Jay L. Bucher, editor, ASQ Quality Press, 2012, 540 pp., $99 member $139 (book and CD-ROM).

This book is written as a practical metrology reference for calibration professionals. Therefore, the language used in the book is industry oriented. The first section of the book provides a good overview of the history and philosophy of metrology and calibration. The section on quality systems includes the essential aspects of metrology and calibration that are a part of any quality system. A chapter dedicated to environmental controls for metrology is a surprise and a welcome addition because few books on metrology cover environmental controls in such detail.

From the point of view of practical implementation, there is a section on starting and managing a metrology department or calibration laboratory. An entire chapter is dedicated to explaining measurement uncertainty.

There is a section on measurement parameters that covers direct current and low frequency, radio frequency and microwave, dimensional and mechanical parameters, and other parameters including chemical parameters, electro-optical parameters and analytical parameters.

The section on mathematics and statistics serves as a primer on conversions, ratios, statistics and mensuration. Formulas for calculation, volume and surface area of commonly used geometric shapes and solids are included. Information about the body of knowledge for ASQ’s certified calibration technician exam is provided in an appendix.

The book is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing readily usable information such as statistical tables and formulas, metrology, math, and engineering formulas, units and conversions, and a PDF file of acronyms used in the field. In addition, several useful calculators and MS Excel worksheets are provided, including an uncertainty calculator, a tolerance calculator, and a worksheet with examples of uncertainty.

This book is intended for metrology and calibration practitioners in a broad range of fields. Those looking for detailed information on specific gages and measurement devices used in a traditional manufacturing organization must supplement their reading of this book with another book that covers those aspects in detail. This book is a must-read for anyone attempting to gain a strong foundation in the field of metrology and measurement, and belongs in the library of every metrology and calibration practitioner.

Rangarajan Parthasarathy
Harvard, IL

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