Gone are the times when people would take pride in owning a product sourced from the USA, India, or Austria. With technological advancements taking place, industries have grown and given birth to global supply chains. These are networks that cut across continents and countries while providing customers from every part of the world with goods and services. People source what they want from a country of their choice and have it delivered to them. Managing such networks require specific resources, compliance standards, process, information, and people. That’s why this article is written to shed light on global supply chain management. The tips are meant to help you familiarize yourself with the common risks associated with global supply chain management and how to evade them.
Market characteristics are prone to change at any time. Thus, researching is one thing you have to thoroughly do. Acquaint yourself with the information regarding the changes that occur within the field you are venturing into. Cultures also influence business operations and so dedicate your time to studying the culture of your targeted sources. Get to know the geopolitical status of your targeted customers. A politically stable nation attracts more customers and investors since people enjoy working calm fellows. A politically unstable country will not sustain businesses because of the conflicts that affect transport systems and other essential services which you definitely need for your chain operations. While researching, pay close attention to the laws and policies guiding business expansion and supply chain management for that country. The existing laws can either demote or promote your business. Some laws are overly stringent, imposing excessive charges as tax or customs duty. When you pay such huge amounts, you end up incurring losses and can’t sustain your chain.
Comply with laws and regulations
All countries and regions have their laws and regulations and these may differ from one nation to another. If you are going to stay in the supply chain and manage it properly, you must be compliant with the existing laws. Failure to abide by the rules in place might lead to your business being blocked from operating within a specific region or in a country. Such laws might not be quite friendly but at the end of the day, you have to adhere to them. Shared resources such as water bodies that traverse international boundaries normally have laws regarding their usage within a country. Moving to the next, the law has changed and you are baffled. The same applies to global supply chain management. A particular nation’s supply chain regulations may favor your functionality, but moving to the next country, you find the regulations altered. It’s uncomfortable but you got no; you have to adjust to the changes.
Understand the risks
In venturing into global supply chains, the biggest risk someone could take is failing to understand and account for the risks that are likely to present themselves. Remember, every business has its challenges. However, global supply changes take things, even risks, to another level, and you might be completely oblivious of this. The risks that occur can be summarized into supply-side, demand-side, and other risks. Supply-side risks are those that occur on the production side of goods. They are more supplier-related and could include issues like a sudden increase in raw materials prices, prolonged waiting for these materials, or even inability to access the materials. Demand-side risks occur after the goods’ product and it particularly about the product’s demand. You might produce more than the targeted customers need, and end up wasting the goods if they are perishable. Sometimes you may produce less than what your clients need and lose them. Other risks that may occur do not fall in any of the two categories and may include adverse weather conditions that interrupt goods’ shipment, suddenly changing geopolitical situation that disrupt peace, or even labor laws catapulting and interfering with the workflow.
Perfect the prerequisites for Chain Management
This tip is about fine-tuning what you already have. The three preceding points form the basics for international supply chain management and are perfected at this point. The global chain starts with planning on your side whereby you ensure all that is required for the business is availed and whatever needs attention is attended to. Once you are done with thorough planning, you involve the manufacturers for the actual production of the goods from the already supplied raw materials. Once manufactured, the goods are taken by the warehousing and storage department for packaging and storage. Afterward, distributors come in to transport the goods and deliver them to consumers. A flaw in any of these departments compromises the final outcome. So, ensure that the raw materials are reasonably priced and of good quality. Ascertain that the manufacturing department is using the right ingredient for production. Packaging materials must be of the right standard to avoid staling goods and ensure their safe delivery. The transport system must also be safe to ensure no zero damages and limited losses in transit.
Apply software for optimization for Chain Management
The above-listed tips are vital for the success of your international supply chain. However, there is only so much you can do as a human being who is prone to erring. So then, what complements your efforts? Optimize the process using the software. Recent studies established that 75% of supply chain-related companies are now working with software and the results? Smooth flow of operations. Include big data for contextual intelligence and demand forecasting. Use artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to automate operations and minimize the need for human effort for repetitive tasks. Blockchain technology has also come in handy for securing your clients’ data. Take advantage of this technology and heighten efficiency when errors are incredibly cut down. With software applications, your vendors are planned, both domestically and internationally; your inventory is accurately supervised and updated thus ensuring no backlogs or dead stocks. Planning, supplying, production, transportation, and distribution do not take place haphazardly but are all properly planned.
The recent technological advancements have seen a major move towards outsourcing goods from overseas. That’s what the global supply chain is about. In managing such a complex international chain, some tips are essential. This article shared the five tips, which revolve around in-depth research, compliance, understanding risks, perfecting the pre-requisites, and using software to optimize operations. Before you can venture into the global supply chain, do a cross-check for each of the above and ensure everything is on point.
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