A thorough and enlightening exploration of the importance of supply chain risk management that needs more examples for...



A research-driven assessment examines the role of supply chain risk management in the financial industry.

In this business book, vander Straeten (An Overture to Geofinance, 2018, etc.) makes a case for distinguishing supply chain risk management from general risk management in banking and financial organizations. The author explains why supply chain risk management is a crucial business process that ensures corporate stability and minimal disruption from rare but potentially disastrous events. Vander Straeten reviews and synthesizes much of the existing literature on the topic, and a lengthy bibliography supports the book’s detailed presentation of supply chain risk management research. The volume establishes the theoretical frameworks the author uses throughout the text, including the major difference between supply chains in service industries and those in enterprises that produce tangible goods (“Service supply chain deals with flow of information, capacity, and cash”). He then explains the various components of supply chain risk management, including service-level agreements, resilience, metrics, and the role of capital. After laying the groundwork for its arguments, the book contends that supply chain risk management should be an integral part of planning in the financial sector. According to the author, “Four primary external risk factors are driving the need for improved supply chain resiliency: (i) the demand-driven nature of today’s markets; (ii) environmental compliance; (iii) globalization; and (iv) increased market velocity.” Vander Straeten details why and how business leaders should incorporate this process into their strategies. Best practices for managing and responding to risks are also presented. The text is informative but extremely dense and most appropriate for readers with knowledge of financial and banking practices, although it does attempt to define the many specialized terms and concepts necessary to understanding the book. Readers will find that the author is extremely knowledgeable about the subject and has produced a volume based on substantial research. He makes a compelling case for an approach to risk management that acknowledges the unique position of the service industry supply chain, distinguishing it both from supply chain management for physical goods and the operational risk management that is part of a financial institution’s regular business processes. The prose is often clear and direct (“When the disruption has happened, KPIs can also be useful in monitoring the impacts and taking actions”; “Investment in risk management is designed to avoid something happening, rather than to make something happen”), but there are limitations. While the book is highly illuminating, it addresses its concepts primarily in general terms and is less effective at providing concrete examples of how the ideas it covers can be implemented in practice. There are few specific instances of how to manage risk in the service supply chain. This is one work where the addition of anecdotes—either stories of real companies instigating new procedures or case studies of fictional scenarios—would have made it a more useful tool for those looking to make risk management decisions. In addition, the volume would benefit from further editing, including cutting some repetitive sections. Vander Straeten has a tendency to repeat himself in detail—often word for word—at paragraph length (for example, the discussions of “mega-disasters...tsunami” on pages 21 and 110).

A thorough and enlightening exploration of the importance of supply chain risk management that needs more examples for readers.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Value4Risk LLC

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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