International Logistics, Part 1: Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management encompasses the planning and mangement of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and logistics. It also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third party serivice providers, and customers. In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.

Advances in information technology have been crucial to progress in supply chain management. Consider the example of Gestamp (Spain’s leading supplier of metal components for car manufacturers), which used electronic data interchange technology to many reports increased manufacturing productivity, reduced investment needs, increased efficiency of the billing process, and led to a lower rate of logistic errors across the supply process after implementing a supply chain system. Globalization has opened up supplier’s ability to provide satisfying goods and services will play the most critical role in securing long-term contracts. In addition, the physical delivery of goods often can be old-fashioned and slow. Nevertheless, the use of such strategic tools will be crucial for international managers to develop and maintain key competitive advantages. An overview of the international supply chain is shown below:

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Culture Clue: The strength of relationships CLICK TO READ

Western managers in China joint ventures should take advantage of their positions, as representatives of a prestigious entity, to store up capital with local decision makers through quanxi, or relationships. These are a potent instrument in protecting one’s interests. In fact, they are more powerful than written documents, which are seen as a necessary ritual when dealing with Westerners.

Managing in Asia-Pacific Countries

In an interview with several regional chief executive officers of international advertising agencies located in various Asia-Pacific countries, several attributes of successful managers of both diverse clients and employees in this region were cited:

  • recognizing and acknowledging local differences;
  • having a healthy respect for different opinions, views, and solutions;
  • being able to look for common factors;
  • being flexible, patient, and curious;
  • having a steadfast focus;
  • bringing down social and management hierarchy walls;
  • being prepared for long-term and valuable relationships that typically begin with short-term, low-value projects;
  • being consistent as a corporate culture builder;
  • having decency and integrity;
  • having stamina and being resilient;
  • having a sense of humor.

Do you have experience working in the Asia-Pacific? Share your knowledge on values and attitudes in the comment section below!