Is Your Supply Chain Your Competitive Advantage

In book titled. “Competing in a Flat World”, the authors Victor and William Fung and Yoram Kind say this about supply chain,

“They[retailers] are not competing against each other in isolation.  … The best supply chain will win.  … Before a customer walks into the store, often the game is over based on the superior supply chain.”

Is a firm’s supply chain its strategic competitive advantage?  In the case of  Wal Mart we can state that its superior supply chain management allowed it to be the market leader but tht alone does not provide its unique competitive advantage. What gives Walmart its strategic advantage is the seamless integration of its processes, structures, systems, culure and people and their complete alignment with its vision of “Everyday Low Prices”.  Its supply chain management is an enabler not the root cause.

In the same book the authors talk about the outsourcing of supply chain management offered by the firm owned by the two authors  Fung brothers. This means any firm can now get the bst possible supply chain management on demand, as a service and without investing in it.

If the services are available for all, like electricity, how is that competitive advantage?