Export is a driving factor for the economy of any country and it is not possible to create value without a structured and efficient supply chain. Before starting an internationalization process, we need to better assess the structure that we want to adopt, so that we can tackle the new markets properly. The current structures of interconnected markets, as well as the presence of state institutions to support companies make today the processes faster even for SMEs.
Companies are no longer individual units, but a network of enterprises with different tasks. Since in the last few years the supply chain has become more and more globalized, there is need for greater control and information, obtained thanks to a technological and interconnected supply chain. In this way, decisions can be taken not only in relation to costs, but based on actual efficiency.
Having an international supply allows to reduce the supplies, being more flexible; the goods can be supplied more quickly, with reduction of operating and logistics expenses. Moreover, the global visibility allows to obtain flexibility and above all to shorten the lead-time if it works in intelligent way. The final result will therefore be a competitive advantage to be offered to the customer.
The ways to internationalize the chain are different and each company must consider which to focus on according to its priorities.
Principals Supply chain:
- Local – the supply of raw materials and the market of destination are the same;
- “made in”– supplies and productions are concentrated in a single area, but the distribution network will then be branched out globally. The competitive advantage in this case comes from the value of the typical product of the production area;
- Economic advantage upstream – the company decides to buy raw materials in the place where it is most advantageous and then organizes production in other geographical areas. It creates a logistic network that is able to support the needs of the different plants and, finally, decides whether to sell locally, or globally.
- Focused production plants – when a specific product is produced, the company constitutes the plants in the region where it finds the necessary raw materials; it produces the product locally and then distributes it.