Yossi Sheffi

• MIT professor & researcher

• Author of 'The Resilient Enterprise' and other books

Dr. Yossi Sheffi is the Elisha Gray II Prof. of Engineering Systems at MIT, where he serves as Director of the Center for Transportation & Logistics. He is an expert in systems optimization, risk analysis and supply chain management.

He is the author of several best-selling, award winning books, including The Resilient Enterprise (MIT Press, 2005), Logistics Clusters (MIT Press, 2012) and The Power of Resilience (MIT Press, 2015). His latest book Balancing Green: When to Embrace Sustainability in Business (and When Not to) (MIT Press 2018) provides new and innovative perspective on the role of business in environmental sustainability.

Dr. Sheffi has consulted with leading enterprises around the world and he is a sought-after speaker. He founded or co-founded five successful companies: LogiCorp (acquired by Ryder in 1994); PTCG (acquired by Sabre in 1996); e-Chemicals (acquired by AspenTech in 2001); Logistics.com (acquired by Manhattan Associates in 2003), and Syncra Systems (acquired by Retek in 2004).

Speech topics

Logistics Cluster

Yossi Sheffi outlines the characteristic “positive feedback loop” of logistics clusters development; how logistics clusters “add value” by generating other industrial activities; why firms should locate their distribution and value-added activities in logistics clusters; and the proper role of government support, in the form of investment, regulation, and trade policy.

Sheffi also argues for the most important advantage offered by logistics clusters in today’s recession-plagued economy: jobs, many of them open to low-skilled workers, that are concentrated locally and not “offshorable.” These logistics clusters offer what is rare in today’s economy: authentic success stories. For this reason, numerous regional and central governments as well as scores of real estate developers are investing in the development of such clusters.

The Resilient Enterprise: How Should Companies Define and Prioritize Threats?

What are the common characteristics of all high-impact disruptions?

  • Can companies prepare without knowing the type of disruptions they may face?

  • How should companies maintain lean operations, which aim to reduce redundancy, without increasing vulnerability?

  • Are intentional disruptions fundamentally different from accidents and random phenomena?

  • How can disruptions be detected when so many simultaneous events are taking place in the normal course of commerce?

  • How can a company build in flexibility so that it can be resilient?Should companies always prefer multiple suppliers to single-sourcing?

  • What new risks and rewards affect collaboration in this new world?

  • What is the role of corporate culture in resilience?

  • How can security investments support the main mission of the enterprise? Can they be cost-justified?

Professor Sheffi sheds light on all these questions and more in a call for action based on the experience of many companies – those who did well in the face of disruptions and those who faltered

Logistics & Supply Chain Management Trends

In this talk Yossi scans trends that will shape supply chains in the future, like 3D manufacturing, Omni cannels, the sharing economy, and long term trends such as aging, global warming, and urbanization, among others.

(Yossi has delivered this talk at industry conferences and specifically for companies.)

Going Green Is Not Black and White

Sustainability is a supply chain issue and manufacturers have limited ability to influence it. Until consumers will agree to pay more for sustainable products, companies cannot be expected to take big initiatives. The fact remains that governments and communities are more concerned about jobs and economic development than they are about the environment. However, Yossi Sheffi argues there are three main reasons to invest in sustainability:

  • Some activities will cut costs

  • Some level of commitment is required to fend off NGO and media attacks

  • Companies might want to hedge in case the market changes

The main message is that while developing more sustainable products can be very good for business, especially when selling in the B2B market, most companies should stick to incremental initiative in their own operations and supply chains.

Books

The New (Ab)Normal : Reshaping Business and Supply Chain Strategy beyond Covid-19

Much has been written about Covid-19 victims, how scientists raced to understand and treat the disease, and how governments did (or did not) protect their citizens. Less has been written about the pandemic’s impact on the global economy and how companies coped as the competitive environment was upended.

In this book, MIT Professor Yossi Sheffi maps how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted business, supply chains, and society. Civilization depends on supply chains to convert the planet’s bounty into needed products and deliver those products to 7.8 billion human beings at an affordable price. Sheffi exposes the critical role supply chains play in helping people, governments, and companies to manage supply chains. The book draws on executive interviews, pandemic media coverage, and historical analyses. Sheffi also builds on themes from his books "The Resilient Enterprise" (2005) and "The Power of Resilience" (2015) to suggest how companies can become more resilient in the face of uncertainty. This must-read book helps companies and entrepreneurs to redefine their business models and adjust to a fast-evolving economic landscape.

Balancing Green: When to Embrace Sustainability in a Business (and When Not To)

An expert on business strategy offers a pragmatic take on how businesses of all sizes balance the competing demands of profitability and employment with sustainability.

The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected

How the best companies prepare for and manage modern vulnerabilities―from cybersecurity risks to climate change: new tools, processes and organizations for developing corporate resilience.

Logistics Clusters: Delivering Value and Driving Growth

Sheffi outlines the characteristic "positive feedback loop" of logistics clusters development and what differentiates them from other industrial clusters.

The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage

Stories from Nokia, Dell, UPS, Toyota, and other companies show how firms can reduce their vulnerability to high-impact distributions, from earthquakes to strikes, from SARS to terrorism, and use them for competitive advantage.

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