International Supply Chain Management 

International supply chain management plays a significant role in the global economy. The global marketplace is highly complex and it comprises various companies, governments, and businesses. The efficiency of SC processes would help you to gain competitiveness. Today, we’ll discuss international supply chain management; its definition, how it works, benefits, and challenges.

What is International Supply Chain Management?

International supply chain management is the method where products and goods are produced here and consumed in another part of the world. The global SCM consists of a complicated network of customers, retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers from across the world. It has the obligation of making sure to deliver the products and supplies to the end consumers efficient and timely manner.

International SCM plays a key role in the development of the global economy because it makes sure that businesses keep on conducting routine operations worldwide. Without global SCM, companies won’t be able to source and find raw supplies and materials in overseas markets and sell their finished goods in global or foreign markets. The international SCM is significant for those businesses and companies that want to conquer new markets and amplify their operations worldwide.

Global SCM has the obligation to deliver products and goods in the regions and markets where they have high demand. For instance, the global SCM makes sure that the relief supplies would reach the sick and needy people on time. The efficient functioning of global SCM is necessary for developing and maintaining economic growth and stability.

How International SCM Works

Comprehending Supply chain

First of all, you should comprehend what the supply chain really is. It is a systematic process of resources, information, activities, people, and organizations that focus on moving goods and materials from suppliers to the end consumers. Global SCM is completely different from domestic and local SCM because it comprises customers, suppliers, and vendors that are residing in foreign countries.

Stages of Global SCM

The global SCM comprises four main stages and they’re as follows;

  • Sourcing and finding
  • Production and manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Retail and sale

Sourcing is the method of finding and choosing suppliers for the raw supplies and materials that the company requires for the finished goods. Production comprises a process of converting raw supplies and materials and manufacturing them into finished products. However, distribution is the method of delivering finished goods from the manufacturer to the end consumer. The final stage is retailing when customers buy goods from you.


The global SCM is a very complex process and it comprises laws, regulations, infrastructure, customers, and stakeholders from different countries. It is difficult to find and source raw supplies and materials, develop products, and distribute them effectively and efficiently. You can make global SCM highly successful with proper planning and implementation.

How to Use & Implement Global SCM

Some of the main steps on how to use and implement global supply chain management are as follows;

  • Establishing comprehension of the various elements involved in the global SCM process
  • Recognizing the critical areas that are most significant for your enterprise and venture
  • Collaborating with experienced and expert logistics service providers that would help you amplify your SC process
  • Employing technology to gain a competitive edge like using software and applications to manage SC processes efficiently and effectively
  • Beware of the international marketplace and adjust your strategies relevant to the latest trends

Benefits of International SCM

Some of the main benefits and advantages of international supply chain management are as follows;

Low Cost

One of the main benefits of the global SCM is achieving low costs to amplify their profitability. The focus of many businesses and companies is to source and find material and raw supplies from across the world. The cheap source of raw materials would increase their profitability.


Global SCM allows businesses and companies to quickly respond to the changing market conditions and circumstances. For instance, if the demand for a particular product increases suddenly, the company would employ global SCM and find the supplies wherever they’re available.

Risk Diversity

Global SCM would help you to diversify the risk factor. For instance, if there is a political, economic, or geographical conflict in one country, then Global SCM helps companies conduct their operations smoothly by finding supplies in the other market or region.

Competitive Edge

Global SCM allows businesses and companies to gain a competitive edge. Modern customers want companies to quickly and efficiently deliver products to them at their doorsteps. However, it allows companies to satisfy the demands and expectations of customers and gain a competitive edge.

Challenges to International SCM

Some of the main challenges and disadvantages of global supply chain management are as follows;


There is no doubt that you would source low-cost supplies in other parts of the world. But the sheer long distance would cause delays in receiving the goods. It would disrupt the production and manufacturing schedule and reduce the sale.

Transportation Cost

Fuel prices have increased significantly over the past few years, and they have increased the shipment cost. They consume a significant profitability of the company, and it would end up the same price that domestic suppliers are charging.

No Tracking

It is very difficult to track the location of goods and materials in real time at every stage of their journey. Resultantly, it would lead you to damaged or lost merchandise.

Language Barrier

When you are dealing with overseas and foreign suppliers and vendors, the language barrier can cause wrong orders and misunderstandings.

Conclusion: International Supply Chain Management 

After an in-depth study of international supply chain management; we have realized that global SCM is highly significant for the modern economy. If you are learning about international SCM, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned benefits, challenges, and the process of implementing it.

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