Asia is ground zero for some of the most dramatic innovations in supply-chain thinking today. U.S. retailers and distributors are hooking up with Asian manufacturers and consolidators to slash costs and transit times. Distribution models are undergoing radical change in response to hot new trends such as electronic commerce and build-to-order.
But Asia hasn't fully embraced the supply-chain revolution. Beyond port cities, basic infrastructure is lacking. And many old distribution methods remain in place. Even in highly industrialized countries such as Japan, there is still too much inventory and not enough information to replace it. Asian shippers need to become more integrated with their service providers in order to capitalize on the development of global logistics, said Steve Palagyi, a director in the Dallas office of Pattiglio Todd Rabin & McGrath.
Companies sourcing in Asia face the additional challenge of finding enough air and ocean capacity to move their goods to market, added Susan de Gozzaldi, manager of Andersen Consulting in San Francisco. But economic recovery in the region, which is just beginning, should motivate carriers to increase services and balance out load factors.
Shippers and providers will continue to work together on streamlining the supply chain in Asia. For those looking to adopt just-in-time fulfillment strategies bridging the Pacific, the solutions start here.
Nike Eliminates Its Hong Kong Headaches
Until recently, U.S. manufacturers in China had no choice but to ship their exports out of Hong Kong. But as Nike Inc. recently found out, that's hardly the case today.
Nike has cut the cost of shipping Chinese-made footwear by moving it through the Port of Mawei. That's the closest Chinese port to Fuzhou, site of the largest of four regional Nike factories.
|"If I've got to have a 50-page document with all kinds of boilerplates, I don't call that a relationship."- Jack Roscoe of Nike|
|The key lies in crafting relationships with vendors that extend well beyond the purchase stage. "It isn't the case that you buy something and say goodbye."|
- Clive Steele of Mayne Nickless
|GeoLogistics was awarded a six-month contract - hardly a ringing endorsement by Lite-On, but indicative of the need to build trust.|
|"A true partnership is when you agree to share a significant portion of information real-time, where in the past you kept it|
hidden like a deck of cards."
- Tim Dimbero of i2 Technologies
|"They took the time to understand that we were going to be different. There was a lot of exchange of information and business plans." - Steve Schwark of AEI|
|BDP sent its own personnel to the Osram Sylvania factory in China to set up|
standard operating procedures for shipment processing.
|AEI has made a substantial investment in serving India without a long-range commitment from Hewlett-Packard.|
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