A series of experiments were undertaken to examine how genetics and management can be used to profitably meet market specifications in real supply chains, with a focus on producing larger and uniform valuable retail cuts. Sourcing appropriate animals to enter a finishing system is a critical decision, with a range of variables having a pronounced effect on performance. Sire and dam genotype were shown to be important as was the actual finishing system adopted. Other factors, such as early management differences, can persist and are difficult to predict other than through prior experience. A fourth class of variables (such as birth type and birth date) can have large and predictable effects if their status is known and can therefore be differentially managed in order to meet specifications. In general, differences in growth rates were more important in this supply chain than differences in carcase quality, once adjustments were made for carcase weight.