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Multinational corporations have been sourcing from China for years, but that doesn't mean that all the questions have been answered about how to engage in procurement activities in the world's fastest-growing economy. In this interview, David Lee, a partner and managing director at BCG, says that plenty of challenges remain. Among them: finding good suppliers that offer products at relatively low costs, and being willing and able to outsource a sufficient volume of one's business to Chinese suppliers.
From: June 23, 2008
In the never-ending quest for cost savings, many companies have reduced the number of suppliers they use, consolidated their purchases, and negotiated better prices. So, where can chief procurement officers and other managers now turn for savings? In this interview, Bob Tevelson, a BCG partner and managing director, says firms must segment suppliers to identify those that can deliver what he calls "partnership value" by establishing relationships that move beyond the transactional level.
From: June 16, 2008
Marshall L. Fisher, director of Wharton's Fishman-Davidson Center for Service and Operations Management, has been researching issues related to retail supply chain strategy for many years. In this interview, Fisher highlights some of the challenges facing global procurement, and he discusses the example of Luen Thai, a Chinese company that built a giant "supply-chain city," becoming a one-stop shop for clothing manufacturers looking to outsource to low-cost producers.
From: June 09, 2008
Procurement has become an integral part of corporate performance and is drawing increased attention from senior management. In this interview, Andreas Gocke, a BCG partner and managing director, spoke with Knowledge@Wharton about the most critical challenges facing procurement organizations over the next five to 10 years, including training and employee development, managing global sourcing offices and ensuring collaboration across corporate departments.
From: June 02, 2008
Procurement has taken on greater strategic importance in multinational companies in recent years -- and it will assume even greater significance in the years to come, according to Hal Sirkin, senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group and global leader of BCG's operations practice. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Sirkin discusses procurement in the context of global business, and the ways in which companies from rapidly developing economies are challenging traditional multinationals.
From: May 28, 2008
When Thomas Friedman wrote his popular book, The World Is Flat
, one of its central arguments was that geography might soon become history. The proliferation of information technology and telecommunications networks has integrated the world in ways that were unimaginable in the past -- and this has transformed how companies produce and distribute products and services. One result of this transformation is the rise of networks of companies that are bound together through IT and logistics. How can firms strive for and gain competitive advantage in such an environment? Victor and William Fung, group chairman and managing director of Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, and Yoram (Jerry) Wind, a professor of marketing at Wharton, deal with this issue in their new book, Competing in a Flat World: Building Enterprises for a Borderless World
. They recently spoke with Knowledge@Wharton.
From: October 31, 2007
Attention, shoppers: Did you find everything you were looking for? Retail customers who answer "yes" to this question might very well represent the Holy Grail to retail operators who want to increase their sales with only a modest increase in costs or, in some cases, increase sales by merely reallocating staff within a store at no extra cost. Impossible? Not according to a new study on retail store execution by Wharton operations and information management professors Marshall L. Fisher and Serguei Netessine, and Wharton doctoral student Jayanth Krishnan.
From: April 04, 2007
Imagine paying for your car only
when it works. Or your television. Or even your high-end toaster. That might sound far-fetched, but it could be the future model for purchases requiring service over time. According to research by two Wharton professors of operations and information management, Morris Cohen and Serguei Netessine, and doctoral student Sang-Hyun Kim, this new approach to service supply chains is already reshaping customer-supplier relationships in defense and aerospace contracting under the name "Performance-based Logistics" (PBL). It could have implications for certain retail sectors as well.
From: February 21, 2007
In India, the road to better infrastructure has been bumpy so far: While sectors like telecom have boomed and transformed the business landscape seemingly overnight, others, such as energy, have been highly visible failures. According to experts at Boston Consulting Group and Wharton, the failure of power sector reforms and the success of the telecom industry underscore the importance of foreign investment and competition in India's infrastructure upgrade. In a related sidebar, these experts discuss what's next on India's infrastructure agenda.
From: February 15, 2007
It's a surprising fact: The world's largest factory for forgings -- parts for engines, axels and the like -- sits not in Detroit, Tokyo or Stuttgart, but in the industrial city of Pune in western India. The factory belongs to Bharat Forge, foremost among a group of auto parts companies that are rapidly putting India on the world map for manufacturing. Yet, say experts at Boston Consulting Group and Wharton, Bharat Forge's story also illustrates the hurdles Indian industry must overcome, ranging from weak infrastructure to low labor productivity.
From: February 15, 2007
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