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Necessary But Not Sufficient: A Theory of Constraints Business Novel [Paperback]

Eliyahu M. Goldratt , Eli Schragenheim , Carol A. Ptak
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 April 2001
After reading the newspapers and following the sharp oscillations of the stock market, it becomes apparent that hi-tech companies are of a different breed. Never before have the chances of making a fortune been so realistic and never before have large companies been so fragile. What is really going on inside these hi-tech companies? What types of pressures and challenges are they facing? And how do they cope? Computer software providers, especially the ones that specialize in handling the data needs of organizations, are prime examples of these volatile companies. In the dollar giants. No wonder investors were attracted. In 1998 it was easy for such companies to raise as much money as they wanted. But now, investment funds have dried up. Why? And more importantly, is there a way to reverse the trend? This book gives the answers.

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Necessary But Not Sufficient: A Theory of Constraints Business Novel + It's Not Luck + Critical Chain
Price For All Three: 52.10

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  • It's Not Luck 13.99
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gower Publishing Ltd (28 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0566084503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0566084508
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,249,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Eliyahu M Goldratt is the creator of the Theory of Constraints and the author of the bestsellers The Goal, It's Not Luck and Critical Chain. Carol A Ptak is a leading authority in the use of ERP and Supply Chain tools to drive improved bottom line performance, Ms Ptak's expertise is well grounded in over two decades of practical experience as a successful practitioner, consultant and educator in manufacturing operations. Eli Schragenheim is one of the pioneers of TOC and is recognized as an authority in ERP related simulations. He has published several papers in academic and practitioner journals and has delivered hundreds of workshops for managers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will the big ERP players read this ? 24 Oct 2000
Another Goldratt novel, a bit more forced than "The Goal" and "It's not luck" (Yes, I am a fan of TOC) nor so gripping somehow. Still, I did read it in one session - couldn't put it down. The main thrust is how to change and implement ERP to give real TOC improvements. Although ostensibly about a software organisation the real lessons are for Industrial Production style Companies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn to be paranoid! 24 Feb 2010
This is certainly one of the great books on TOC (Theory of Constraints) and drives home the fact that TOC on it's own is often not enough to get quantum leaps in throughput.

Written in a similar style to "The Goal" and "It's Not Luck" (both of which I'd suggest you read before this book) you're taken in to the world of an ERP software company and their biggest systems integration company. Seemingly insurmountable challenges and certain doom face the teams as their core market becomes saturated - can TOC come to the rescue once again? Yes, of course, but to achieve full potential it needs a helping hand from a few other things... You'll have to read the book to find out :)

I deducted one star because once again we find retail supply chain management starting to dominate towards the end of the book and our company has nothing to do with, and does not come in to contact with, that area of business. I'm hoping that Goldratt will release a TOC book that doesn't mention, or even allude to, retail supply chain management.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to the Theory of Constraints 26 Aug 2003
This is my first book on TOC, and I'm now hooked - Goldratt's non-fiction approach allows the theory to drift into awareness very nicely, with inspirational ideas on how to apply it along the way.
My only criticism is that is left me wanting more - too much more - I can't help feel that he could have gone into more depth on the theory side of it. That said, I agree with the last reviewer - I couldn't put it down either...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who forgot to proof-read? 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer - Published on
I bought this book after reading The Goal, and It's Not Luck. I found The Goal and It's Not Luck to be very interesting to read. This one left a lot to be desired.
Some of Goldratt's assumptions in Necessary But Not Sufficient seem to be overly simplistic. For instance, he seems to advocate stripping out of mid-market ERP systems everything but production & inventory control. I doubt that too many manufacturing companies would really be beating down the doors of any ERP company who actually did this. He also seems to think that major changes can be made to an ERP system in a couple of weeks. Anyone who has dealt with changes to any software system, no matter how simple the system or how simple the change, knows that is simply not true.
I would like to see some case studies published to back up Goldratt's stories. In all of his books that I have read I have found his implementation successes a bit hard to swallow. I like his theories, but I think that actual case studies would greatly increase his credibility, especially with this book.
But my biggest gripe about this book is this: Who proof-read this thing? I have never read a book with so many typos! I would think that with 3 authors on the cover and a publishing company behind them that at least somebody would have read the thing first! It really got to be annoying to read through all the errors.
Anyways, read The Goal and It's Not Luck and skip this one.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not even necessary! 5 April 2001
By disappointed reader - Published on
Anxiously awaited, and extremely disappointing work from the authors. Reasons:
A. Inferior content. Neither does the book present a sound theory of enterprise/ B2B software, nor does it do do justice to the intellect and experience of its authors.
For example, why should "Drum Buffer Rope" software be part of the larger enterprise system? Or why companies need enterprise software in the first place? Just because the technologies are there?
Potential readers looking for ground-breaking thoughts in enterprise management and enterprise software are advised to read following previous works by two of the book's authors: 1. "The Haystack Syndrome" by Dr. Eli Goldratt 2. "Management Dilemmas" by Eli Schragenheim
B. Defeats the purpose. Enterprise software users, enterprise software providers and management consultants all risk being led down the wrong path by following superficial advice contained in the book.
For example, isn't it impractical to ask outsiders (enterprise software providers) to ensure that the insiders (enterprise managers) create value for their organizations? Does it mean that management also can be outsourced?
C. Amateurish storyline and poor editing. At a minimum readers should not be denied the pleasure of good reading!
The only value rendered by this book is reminding managers that all their investments, even in software, should have measurable payoff.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 99% Novel, 1% TOC 17 May 2005
By R. Platt - Published on
Necessary But Not Sufficient can be boiled down to three points:

1. Technology is worthless if it doesn't bring bottom-line value.

2. "Drum-buffer-rope" and "Buffer Management" are good

3. "Pull" inventory management is good

As an rabid reader and huge fan of The Goal, I was dissapointed with the delivery of this book. The fictional plot was boring and the characters were met with absolute apathy. While the above three points are repeated ad nauseum, no real background or detail is revealed on their delivery or use. Instead, Necessary But Not Sufficient is written as lengthy pieces of plot followed by short, almost textbook definitions of these business concepts.

If you're looking for a more interesting and in-depth read, stick with The Goal. Otherwise, shop around for a more engaging and insightful book.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking 6 Jan 2001
By H.C. Joiner - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To say that there's nothing of value here is incorrect. True, it helps to have read The Goal. Not only is an explanation of drum-buffer-rope needed, so is a definition of Murphy. No doubt this alienates the uninitiated, as might the book's meandering plot. However, there are a few ideas here that are pure gold.
One such idea is that using technology to add value by increasing capacity only improves net income when overhead is cut. I have personally seen ERP value proposition spreadsheets that haphazardly combine income statement and capacity improvements to arrive at a total "value created" number for the client. Capacity improvements are a means to value creation, not an end. Technology firms that misunderstand this will have problems cost justifying their solutions to their clients. They should read this book.
Another golden idea is that technology deployment is only one part of the business improvement process. The other (perhaps more important) part of the process comes from changing the success metrics surrounding the area that deploys the technology. For example, if Tyson pays its plant managers to maximize efficiencies, it's natural that they will increase the chicken supply regardless of expected demand, burning cash in the process. Accordingly, technology driven capacity increases will drive up finished goods inventories unless firms change the way they reward their plant managers.
This book has bold implications for CPFR software users. How likely is it that plant managers at the top of the supply-chain will do what's in the best interest of the entire supply-chain if doing so makes them look like they are doing a poor job? Not many. And what if the members of a given supply-chain are different companies, with different lending ratios, stock prices, industry benchmarks, and so on? And whose customer is the end-user anyway? Thought provoking.
If anything, the book educates supply-chain students that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sure it's fun to think theoretically about supply-chain management, but the real world is a cruel mistress. This book reminds us that if CPFR and ERP were such a great ideas, then there would be no unprofitable vertically integrated companies. Reason enough to buy the book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Far and away worst Goldratt 15 Dec 2000
By Miles Libbey - Published on
I have thouroughly enjoyed Goldratt's other books--each taught me a new framework and how to apply it. Each taught in an interesting and easy to follow manner, and applied the framework to many different problems. This book didn't do that. It restated that the concepts that we learned in the Goal, Critical Chain, and Its not Luck are good and still apply, but doesn't add anything new. As far as I can tell, the only new idea briefly appears in the last chapters-- dollar-day metrics; and seems to appear from out of the blue. On the positive side, the style of writing hasn't changed much-- its still easy to read. If you've read the previous Goldratt books, don't bother. If you haven't, don't bother--go read them!
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