European & emerging markets presentations @ global supply chain conference

Friday 16 October, 2009

I attended these sessions to see the attached presentations  at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Global Conference:

  • Global Supply Chain Developments presentation: Logistic Trends in Europe V1 090922 Q&A:  Globalization is closing the gaps between the have- & have-not countries.  Despite the fact that most top-level managers speak English, demanding citizens still prefer to communicate in their local language.  It’s still difficult to penetrate Europe from the outside.  Even working from the UK is not enough.
  • Where in the World? presentation:  CSCMP Where in the World Q&A:  opportunities in China in some ways are limited because land titles were burned long ago, so land can only be leased.  Evaluating total landed cost vs. least cost is always an issue.  Discrete inventories, depending on which modeling tools you use, are not always cost-optimal.
  • Eastern European Infrastructure I requested the presentation of the presenter, but haven’t received it yet, so I’ll summarize briefly here.  The 5 largest ports, (all of which are expanding, btw),  handle 80% of Europe’s cargo traffic.  Hamburg relies on Asia.  It’s difficult to serve continental Europe from the UK as well as the reverse.  Central/Eastern Europe is getting more congested.  Distribution centers are expensive, but make sense there.  Russia is another dilemma.  You can’t bring product to the customer’s doorstep, so you don’t know where it ends up.  You can’t simply transplant your US system in Europe.  It requires study & planning.  Turkey offers incentives for product coming in & going out.  Recommendations:  do your homework-learn the tariff & non-tariff barriers.  Eastern Europe is not North America-there are differences in infrastructure, Value-Added-Taxes, etc.  Rivers are big & key transport means.  North American assumptions don’t hold.  Get professional help from freight forwarders-an auto parts company set up a distribution center in Antwerp, Belgium, only to find all of their customers were in Germany.  Q&A:  Because all European countries maintain their autonomy, security can be a problem.  Antwerp can be a better gateway to France than LeHarve.  Digital infrastructure now pervades, but companies don’t share information up & down the supply chain.  Despite the fact that the Soviets invested nothing for years, infrastructure in Central/Eastern Europe is catching up to western Europe.

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