Global Supply Chain Management – Drivers and Activities of Global Supply Chain

Nowadays with globalization, global supply chain management is becoming a very important issue for most of businesses. The main reasons of this trend are procurement cost reduction, purchasing risks control, revenues increasing and etc. For instance, companies may set up overseas factories to benefit from tariff and trade concessions, lower labor cost, capital subsidies, and reduced logistics costs in foreign markets. Moreover, easy access to abroad markets and close proximity to customers result better organizational learning. On the other hand, improved reliability can be obtained as a consequence of closer relationship with suppliers.

There are some issues that should be considered in managing a global supply chain. First of all, the company should decide about its general outsourcing plan. For whatever reason, businesses may prefer to keep some aspects of supply chain nearer to home. The second issue that must be incorporated into a global supply chain management strategy is supplier selection. It can be very difficult to comparing bids from a range of global suppliers. Companies usually jump on the lowest price instead of taking time to consider all of the other elements. On the other hand, selecting the right suppliers is influenced by a variety of factors and thus there will be additional complexity in supplier selection due to the multi-criteria nature of this decision. Additionally, companies must make decisions about the number of suppliers to use. Fewer supplies may result reduced inventory costs, volume consolidation and quantity discounts, reduced logistical costs, coordinated replenishment, improved buyer-supplier product design relationship and thus better customer service and market penetration.… Read the rest

External Environment Factors Causing Uncertainty in Organizations

Businesses are bound to encounter several forces whenever they are in operation. In some cases, these forces are over and above their control. In spite of this reality, there is no single business which can exist without going through the external environmental forces. It is therefore imperative for a business establishment to put into consideration all the possible external forces which may affect its operations either positively or negatively. In this regard, opportunities and threats are worth noting because they account for the external factors which would often affect a business environment. When the external factors are considered and concurrently compared with the internal factors, it will be possible for a business management to formulate the right policies of dealing with the inevitable external forces.

Some of the factors which may cause uncertainty in the external business environment are inadequate needs of customers, technological changes, regulations and elimination of foreign barriers which may hinder trade. These factors fall under opportunities which a business can equally devise ways and means of benefiting from them. In addition, some of the external factors which act as threats and also create uncertainty in business include shifts in the tastes and preferences of consumers, introduction of products which are substitutes of the current ones, new trade policies and also multiple barriers to trade. These uncertainty factors are discussed in detail below.

Customer Needs

Each customer has a unique need when buying goods and services. In order to retain customers, a business ought to fulfill their needs which may keep changing from time to time.… Read the rest

Global Compensation Practices

For many companies, maintaining a domestic compensation program that supports the strategic goals of the organization and meets the needs of employees is a difficult challenge. This challenge is intensified when a similar program must be designed to operate in multiple countries with different cultures. For organizations competing in a global marketplace, managing compensation requires a through understanding of the taxation of compensation and benefits, differing state social systems, differences in living standards and employee values and expectations.

Some of the most challenging questions in compensation practices are following:

  1. How does a company pay expatriates from difference home countries brought together to work on a project?
  2. What about compensation packages for same country nationals sent to different regions of the world?

Traditional compensation systems for expatriates, such as the balance sheet approach and going  rate approach, may not be adequate for the company or expatriate in facilitating an case of transfer. Global enterprises require global compensation systems that allow the organization to maintain the flexibility and ease of transfer between countries and regions while providing employees a just wage. A compensation system must be designed to work regardless of where the expatriate is sent on assignment. To some degree, this requires rethinking the traditional focus on location and national culture in determining expatriate compensation.

Traditional Systems of Global Compensation

Of the traditional global compensation schemes, the balance sheet method is most commonly used. More than 85% of US companies use some variation of this method to compensate their expatriates. The objective of the balance sheet method is to keep the expatriate economically whole or to ensure that the expatriate doesn’t financially suffer or come out ahead as a result of the international assignment.… Read the rest

Syndicated Euro Credits

History of Syndicated Euro Credits

Syndicated Euro Credits are in existence since the late 1960s. The first syndicate was organized by Bankers Trust in an effort to arrange a large credit for Austria. During the early seventies, Euromarkets saw the demand for Euro credits increasing from non-traditional and hitherto untested borrowers. The period after first oil crisis was marked by a boom phase. To cope with the increasing demand for funds, lenders expanded their business without undertaking due credit appraisal of their clients or the countries thus financed. Further, the European banks had short-term deposits while bulk of borrowers required long-term deposits. These landings were at fixed rates thus exposing these banks to interest rate risks. The banks evolved the concept of lending funds for medium longterm i.e. 7-15 years on a variable interest rate basis linked to the  Interbank Rate (LIBOR). Revision of rates would take place every 3-6 months. These loans are extended in currencies denominated by US Dollar, Yen and Euro.  Amortization of the loan would be by way of half-yearly installments on completion of 2-3 years of grace period. At present, this instrument on a variable interest rate basis has emerged as one of the most notable and popular financing instruments in the international financial markets. Syndicated Credit remains as the simplest way for different types of borrowers to raise forex finance.

Types of Syndicated Euro Credits

Syndicated Euro Credits are classified into two types – club loans and syndicated loans. The club loan is a private arrangement between lending bank and a borrower. … Read the rest

Issues of International Technology Transfers

International technology transfer is the process by which a technology, expertise, know how or facilities developed by one business organization (MNC in the case of international business) is transferred to another business organization. There are many issues associated with the international technology transfer. The most important international technology transfer issues are; ways of technology acquisition, choice of technology, terms of technology transfer, and creating local capability.

Modes of Foreign Technology Acquisition

One of the major issues in technology transfer relates to the mode of acquisition. Developing new technology may conjure up visions of scientists and product developers working in R&D laboratories. In reality, new technology comes from many different sources, including suppliers, manufactures, users, other industries, universities, government, and MNCs . While every source needs to be explored, each firm has specific sources for most of the new technologies. For example, because of the limited size of most farming operations, innovations in farming mainly come from manufacturers, suppliers, and government agencies. In many industries, however, the primary sources of new technologies are the organizations that use the technology. Broadly the acquisition routes are three:

  1. Internal Technology Acquisition: This is result of technology development efforts that are initiated and controlled by the firm itself. Internal acquisition requires the existence of a technology capability in the company. This capability could vary from one expert who understands the technology application well enough to manage a project conducted by an outside research and development (R&D) group to full blown R&D department. Internal technology acquisition options have the advantages that any innovation becomes the exclusive property of the firm.
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Technology Transfer in International Business

Technology is a new variable in the equation of economic relations. Traditional theories of international business assumes that all nations have equal access to technology and, therefore, that there is no need to transfer technology from one county to another. Recent research findings have invalidated this assumption. In addition, they point to  technology differences as primary cause of international inequalities in economic achievements. To reduce the inequalities, technology capabilities of the backward nations must be strengthened. The quickest way to do so is to transfer technology from the developed to the developing nations.

Technology is any device or process used for productive purposes. In its broadest sense, it is the sum of the ways in which a given group provides itself with good and services, the group being a nation, an industry, or a single firm. There is a fundamental characteristic of technology that demands clear recognition. Q unites unlike commodities and capital, technology is not depleted or its supply diminished when it is transferred or used. It is usable but not consumable. Once created, technology is inexhaustible until it becomes obsolete. Therefore; export of technology need not cause the source country to reduce its use of the technology. Indirectly, a decline may result if the recipient country creates an industry large to change the global supply and demand equilibrium of the goods produced by the technology involved. For most technology sought by the developing nations this is not the case.

Contrary to the classical assumption, technology is not a free good but a valuable property, nor is it evenly distributed around the globe.… Read the rest