Every day companies leave billions of dollars in invisible, unrealized savings on the table because of poor supply chain management practices. Now supply management experts Dave Nelson, Patricia E. Moody, and Jonathan Stegner show not only how leading companies recoup these savings through their mastery of target costing, value engineering, and supplier development, but how supply chain management -- the discipline of acquiring and moving material -- has become a manufacturing company's hottest competitive weapon. Based on a survey of 247 purchasing managers and more than 1,000 hours of interviews and on-site visits, the authors have selected ten top firms whose supply management pioneers excel at twenty ""best practices."" With cases and stories, Nelson, Moody, and Stegner show how these leading-edge purchasing departments at American Express, SmithKline Beecham, DaimlerChrysler, Harley-Davidson, Honda of America, IBM, John Deere, Whirlpool, Flextronics, and Sun Microsystems have put into place pathbreaking processes and procedures. Here, for example, described in step-by-step detail, are Chrysler's SCORE program and Honda's strategic sourcing strategy that saved the companies billions. The book also includes a crucial section on the next stage of supplier development that will involve the sourcing and allocation of ideas as well as materials. The authors provide concrete, practical steps to improvement that any supply chain manager can take to successfully implement these best practices. The Purchasing Machine will be required reading for logistics, purchasing, and procurement managers in hundreds of thousands of companies. The authoritative nature of the authors' source material is certain to make this the single most important and practical reference on best purchasing practices for years to come.