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5 Tips for Managing a Global Supply Chain

by Soft2share.com

Gone are the days when buying things from abroad was special. Today, the supply chain has undergone many advancements and allowed the chain to take an international/global perspective. This has happened to the benefit of everyone since we can get anything from any country of interest. However, there is a challenge that the team whose business is linked to a global supply change faces. The team has to maintain its processes right to avoid any downstream strain. Should even a single process in the chain go amiss, the entire chain suffers. That explains why delayed payments or traffic jams for shipments should be seen from afar and mitigated. The global supply chain is also a fragile system; a minute fail at any point of the chain may translate to major losses and reputational damage. This necessitates the need for effectively managing a global supply chain to have everything right. This article provides tips for the effective global supply chain management.

Use a devolved supplying system

One reason contributing to the fall of many businesses that had linkages to the global supply chain is centralizing a supply system. This is a situation whereby a company sources its supplies from a single supplier. Although this may come with its immediate advantages like low costs from the supplier, such a system greatly puts the business at risk. Should the supplier disappear from the picture unexpectedly and without warning, the supply chain suffers a serious downstream strain. It may even fail to bounce from the unforeseen shock.

On the other hand, devolving the supply system lowers the risk the business would have faced in the hand of one supplier. Of course, managing multiple suppliers simultaneously may prove cumbersome for the business. So then, the other alternative would mean having strong backups for suppliers so that if anything happens, the supply chain does not face a sudden halt. Besides, having a devolved supply system gives the supply chain a competitive advantage ahead of others. It helps the business determine which of the suppliers offers a cost-effective base. This, in turn, translates to many benefits within the supply chain and keeps it sustainable for the longest time.

Engage the services of an in-country expert

Of course, the fact that you are doing business with a country does not mean that you know the country well or in and out passé. There is more than meets the eye, and you need to know this for you to ensure a working global supply chain management.Todo this, you definitely need to engage an in-country expert from each of the counties your supply chain trades with.

Embracing the expertise from the in-country consultant will enable you to run a seamless supply chain, thereby having the difficult processes with the foreign country outworked for you. For instance, the consultant will help look through and conduct vetting for the foreign suppliers. Besides, some things like negotiating for tax reduction and reading between the lines the loopholes to foreign regulations only require the input of a native expert, and the in-country expert will do all this.

Stay up-to-date

Being in tandem with the ever-changing global supply chain requires you to stay up to date with anything that happens in the country you trade with and can potentially affect the supply chain. For instance, the foreign country you trade with can effect some regulations that will definitely impact the shipment of goods. Knowing such changes will help you look for a plan B and actualize it in due time to prevent the business from suffering any negative consequences.

Besides, political and civil unrest can arise in a country, which will definitely negatively impact the business. Some changes can happen in the foreign country and turn out for the good of the supply chain, and you equally need to be conversant with these. For instance, the country may require that organizations trading on a particular product ensure some certifications or undertake some seminars and training to earn added rights. Being at par with such changes will definitely work for the good of the supply chain.

Work on an effective eCommerce sales forecasting

Looking at the supply chain, you should not be deceived into thinking that all that is in transit are the goods- it’s more than the goods. As part of managing an efficient global supply chain, you equally need efficient eCommerce sales forecasting. Actually, sales forecasting and good timing are all important and carry the same weight. Having one and missing out on the other could lead to detrimental impacts on the business.

Work on an accurate sales forecasting strategy to always have the precise picture of what you need at any given time. Remember, having many goods will attract more space for storage and eat on the space you would otherwise dedicate to something else. Besides, holding on too much to goods when they lack buyers means that the fragile ones may be ruined and result in losses. An accurate sales forecasting system takes care of all this.

Strengthen relationships and build on goodwill

Running a global supply chain means working with different people with different cultural backgrounds from all parts of the world. Even if you involve experts, diversify suppliers, work on strong forecasting systems, and stay up-to-date for the business and host country’s dynamics, but do no strengthen relationships and build on goodwill, chances of the supply chain collapsing could be high. As the global supply chain manager, it is your responsibility to observe the codes of conduct established and operate within their premises to stay in business.

Additionally, honoring commitments will help you strengthen your relationships with those involved in the supply chain picture. This, in turn, keeps you trustworthy and helps you stay longer in the market. Open communications are also critical, especially when something unexpected happens. Because different parties within the chain may originate from different parts of the world, respecting such diversity is paramount to the business’s success. And sometimes, you might need to hold interpersonal meetings with the involved parties to spend time and build on rapport.


While a global supply chain can be so lucrative and promising, it is equally risky. Any loophole in the chain, however small it is, can contribute to the collapse of the entire chain. Therefore, anyone involved directly or indirectly in a global supply chain must observe the tips discussed in this article to stay in business and maximize revenue from the business.

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