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OM/U4 Topic 5 International Supply Chain

International Supply Chain is defined as the distribution of goods and services throughout a trans-national companies’ global network to maximize profit and minimize waste. Essentially, global supply chain-management is the same as supply-chain management, but it focuses on companies and organizations that are trans-national. Global supply-chain management has six main areas of concentration: logistics management, competitor orientation, customer orientation, supply-chain coordination, supply management, and operations management. These six areas of concentration can be divided into four main areas: marketing, logistics, supply management, and operations management. Successful management of a global supply chain also requires complying with various international regulations set by a variety of non-governmental organizations (e.g. The United Nations).

Global supply chain management can be impacted by several actors who impose policies that regulate certain aspects of supply chains. Governmental and non-governmental organizations play a key role in the field as they create and enforce laws or regulations which companies must abide by. These regulatory policies often regulate social issues that pertain to the implementation and operation of a global supply chain (e.g. labour, environmental, etc.). These regulatory policies force companies to obey the regulations set in place which often impact a company’s profit.

Operating and managing a global supply chain comes with several risks. These risks can be divided into two main categories: supply-side risk and demand side risk. Supply-side risk is a category that includes risks accompanied by the availability of raw materials which effects the ability of the company to satisfy customer demands. Demand-side risk is a category that includes risks that pertain to the availability of the finished product. Depending on the supply chain, a manager may choose to minimize or take on these risks. Successful global supply-chain management occurs after implementing the appropriate framework of concentration, complying with international regulations set by governments and non-governmental organizations, and recognizing and appropriately handling the risks involved while maximizing profit and minimizing waste.

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