Supply Chain Strategy: Unleash the Power of Business Integration to Maximize Financial, Service, and Operations Performance 

Edward H. Frazelle, McGraw-Hill, 2017, 384 pp., $65 (second edition, book). 

Unleashing the power of business integration to maximize financial, service and operation performance is critical for a business to sustain competitive advantages. Frazelle provides cases that validate his RightChain methods. The book can be used by executives as a resource for developing their own supply chain strategy. Frazelle provides evidence that sustainable competitive advantage is not about lowest price, but cooperation throughout the supply chain.

Businesses must be faster to market and flexible to service their customers. Hence, the better business approach requires investment in a supply chain strategy for supply chain cooperation. Partners in the supply chain share information, material status, production capacity effectiveness and on-time delivery performance. All supply chain partners must benefit from being in the supply chain. 

Frazelle’s book is timely because there are urgent business issues caused by continued price pressure and high-quality products and services with shorter delivery lead times. The case studies show how organizations can meet supply chain goals with the latest supply chain innovations. The logic and tools provided will help businesses prioritize the financial and operational impact of risk. Understanding supply chain issues will enable businesses to form mitigation efforts on their most impacted processes and suppliers.

This book is recommended for senior management because supply chains be agile, sustainable and cost-efficient as they meet customer demands. Getting the CEO's support will be the supply chain director's most important task. 

John J. Lanczycki Jr.
West Springfield, MA

Statistical Intervals: A Guide for Practitioners and Researchers

William Q. Meeker, Gerald J. Hahn and Luis A. Escobar, John Wiley & Sons, 2017, 648 pp., $110 (book).

This book is a comprehensive overview of interval estimation that serves as an excellent reference for individuals engaged in statistical research. The topics added to the second edition are timely, including three new chapters on Bayesian analysis and two chapters examining bootstrapping for nonparametric and parametric statistics. There is a companion website that includes additional figures and data sets, and new information related to interval estimation. Information about the StatInt R package also is provided on the website and this is an important adjunct to the book.

The first four chapters of the book are a review of sampling, different types of intervals and constructing intervals using the normal distribution. Most of this is a review for statisticians, but it does include information on tolerance intervals and, particularly timely, using confidence intervals instead of p-values for analyses.

Each chapter that follows describes intervals using different probability distributions or distribution-free intervals and the implications for sample size calculations. This is followed by a set of basic case studies. Advanced case studies follow the next group of chapters on likelihood, bootstrap and Bayesian interval estimates. There is a short epilogue describing the creation of the book, followed by 10 appendixes covering notation, definitions, distributions, likelihoods, prior distributions and tables. 

Overall, this text covers classic and basic statistical intervals as well as simulation and bootstrap techniques for intervals, resulting in a complete reference for researchers. For future editions, the authors might think about moving the tables to the website. Truly an amazing compendium on an area of increasing importance in research as data sets increase in size and our use of p-values becomes less meaningful.

I. Elaine Allen
San Francisco

Reflections on Hoshin Planning: Guidance for Leaders and Practitioners 

Lisa Boisvert, CRC Press, 2016, 224 pp., $35.94 (book). 

This book is the author’s unique approach to hoshin planning based on several topics and environments she has personally witnessed. While the approach is unique, the book follows a logical framework. Chapters one thru four address the structure for hoshin planning. Chapters five thru six address the softer issues of leadership and business disruption. The final chapters are focused on how hoshin is treated in fluid environments—mergers and acquisitions in startup organizations. 

The book begins with three damaging practices for organizations when installing a hoshin. This is defined as a breakthrough strategy. They are: too many priorities, insufficient detail to execute, and lack of active review and follow-up. Included is a discussion of catchball—an element of gaining commitment down through levels of management to provide needed resources to meet the hoshin goals. 

Chapter four discusses performance measurement. Table 4.5 is particularly insightful in which nine good practices are listed and explained for effective measurement. 

Chapter five covers the four star qualities of hoshin leaders: inclusion, self-knowledge and maturity, realistic sense of employees’ moods, and the confidence to share leadership in a hopeful, positive attitude.

The end of the book notes that hoshin planning is a powerful tool that can be used to bring the parties and individuals together toward a common goal. But it’s also fragile and can be overlooked with all the smaller scale work going on to integrate the organizations and develop standard work. Even though startups may think entrepreneurially, they can benefit by leveraging suppliers’ and stakeholders’ knowledge in the planning. 

The book concludes with nine appendixes that explain the hoshin tools. This book is good for anyone involved in strategy and implementing major change in an organization—including C-suite leaders.

Bill Baker
Santa Fe, NM

It’s About Patient Care: Transforming Health Information Technology the Cleveland Clinic Way

C. Martin Harris M.D., and Gene Lazuta, McGraw-Hill Education, 2016, 240 pp., $32 (book).

This book is about lessons learned at the Cleveland Clinic covering past decades while bringing about a change in IT employed at the clinic. The book is organized into five chapters. 

The first chapter addresses how the internet is a valuable tool for complex technology-based solutions. The authors argue that health IT systems will experience a significant increase in use only when they are able to connect all clinical care providers, administrative users and patients to all the information services they need. 

The second chapter asserts that technology-driven transformation of any healthcare organization must be based on a comprehensive consensus position that includes the representative voices of every part of the organization’s critical resource, namely its people. The authors state that the underlying relationship structure of the internet mirrors the way society is organized. Hence, the internet could be used to establish and cultivate relationships with patients and their families.

The essence of chapter three is that online use is catching on rapidly, leading to the public purchasing and using a wide range of digital medical devices and services. In this context, bringing the right patient and clinician together through a technology-supported service is an increasingly important competency. 

The fourth chapter is about electronic health record (EHR) adoption and use. The authors contend that the EHR is an important tool that links clinicians to other clinicians, to their patients, and to the vast amount of patient and practice-related data. 

The last chapter emphasizes an overall focus on trust, access and value. Should this happen, the architecture, capabilities and utility of a secure virtual practice space will become easier to understand, build and articulate. 

The book is replete with real-world experiences and is presented in a story-book style, which makes it easy to understand. There are many references to quality and continuous improvement. Because the book presents actual events that happened in a world-class organization such as the Cleveland Clinic, it is a valuable addition to the library of anyone involved in healthcare, especially quality and improvement in healthcare.

Anuradha Rangarajan
Harvard, IL

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