Understanding International Operations Strategies and Supply Chain Relationships

There are myriad ways in which companies configure their operations to compete in this internationalized economy depending on the sector, the products and services they provide and the opposing pressures for global standardization and local responsiveness that they experience. Some adopt more centralised strategies holding value creation at the core in their home markets, while carrying out production and assembly in overseas markets. Others adopt strategies whereby they become truly transnational with more competences and capabilities devolved to international business units where local responsiveness in important.

Additionally, we hear more and more about tools and tactics such as offshoring, outsourcing, and global procurement in relation to how enterprises adapt to global threats and opportunities. These different strategies and approaches have one thing in common. They all lead to a multiplicity of new and complex inter-organizational relationships.

In many cases, these are relationships with new and unfamiliar entities, such as government agencies in foreign countries, civic communities, consumer groups and NGOs as well as with myriad suppliers and service providers spread across many countries with different national and business cultures operating in jurisdictions with different governance rules, regulations and legal frameworks.

Some of these relationships are situational and short-term and are needed to be able to respond to specific short-term needs such as building a production facility in an overseas location whereas others may be long-term and stable relationships and become a key part and contributor to the competitive advantage of the organization.

Relationships with key suppliers of critical materials and services would fall into the second category. Inter-organizational relationships through up many challenges, and yet they are crucial to the continued success of many businesses. As business continues to evolve and fragment into myriad specialities, the ability to form and sustain successful working relationships of all kinds with external partners across international borders is becoming, more and more, a key competence and differentiator between competitors.

Check out my book International Supply Chain Relationships: Creating Competitive Advantage in a Globalized Economy published in paperback and hardback by Kogan Page to learn more about how you can leverage these relationships to ensure that your business will grow and thrive in the future.

You can get your copy here http://www.albalogistics.com/international-supply-chain-book/

21st Century Warehousing: Strategy and Operation

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