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HOW GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS ADD VALUE?

Vivek-SittingConsider this, if you are a typical company your imports and exports have grown at least 20% over the last 10 years. If you are one of those unique companies who prefer to deal with local suppliers then all that is happening is that there is a layer of rent-seeking middleperson who is importing on your behalf and supplying to you. When the concept of the supply chains originated in late 70s, most supply chains were still national – while were moving towards a regional structure. In fact, it might be fair to say (I have to confirm with Dr. Wolfgang Partch – one of my colleagues in Munich and originator of the concept) that the Pan-European regional expasion of companys’ supplier footprint led to the origination or at least quick adoption of the concept in the business world. Here was a practical solution to a real business problem, created by practical people working in the consulting industry. That was before everyone else, including the academia jumped on the the band-wagon and over-complicated things for their own purposes. However, the purpose of this post is to explore what happened to supply chain when the supplier network moved from a regional structure to a more global structure. Hardly a company exists (at least not a large one) which does not have suppliers located outside its immideate regional footprint. No wonder the supply chain models of 80s and 90s are finding it very hard to cope with the globalisation of the supply chains. If you are reading this – what is your view on the matter? Do we need to move beyond supply chains (And please don’t talk about supply network or supply clusters – they are really same things in a more expanded format, merely semantics in most definitions) – into the realms of something totally new. Or, do we need to just expand the reach of the current supply chain models? Or, do we need to expand the supply chain models? Please express your opinions below or by email to me..

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