Managing the Supply Chain

Be aware that your Chinese suppliers are often operating on razor thin margins. The economic recession of the past two years has had a hard, enduring ripple effect on the entire supply chain. Political pressure from the United States to revalue the Yuan has meant that profit margins have been tortured at a time when the American consumer has cut back consumption dramatically. Demand for consumer goods in the U.S. has dropped and factory orders have suffered. Factories in Guangdong Province have shut down, freeing up labor. New recruits from the Chinese interior are not finding the jobs that unskilled labor preceding them found.

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A Systems Approach to Supply Chain Management

The essence of systems thinking is that it is a holistic and subjective approach that views wholes rather than parts from particular points of view. It provides us with a toolbox of concepts and ideas that can help us make sense of complexity and it matches well with the evolving reality of what supply chains or product systems are becoming in modern economies.

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