Global Sourcing Strategy: R&D, Manufacturing, and Marketing Interfaces

Global Sourcing Strategy: R&D, Manufacturing, and Marketing Interfaces

Global Sourcing Strategy: R&D, Manufacturing, and Marketing Interfaces

Global Sourcing Strategy: R&D, Manufacturing, and Marketing Interfaces

Synopsis

This unique book empirically explores the complex issue of how successful multinational firms manage interfaces of R&D, manufacturing, and marketing on a global basis, emphasizing the linkages among them in the value chain. For the encompassing nature of this investigation, the author calls this interface issue "global sourcing." The major objective of the book is to investigate the market performance of various global sourcing strategies employed by multinational firms. Successful Japanese cases are also highlighted. Based on extensive research findings, the book provides practical and normative guidelines for managing new product design and development, manufacturing, and marketing around the world in an era of global competition.

Excerpt

This book addresses what I call a "boundary issue" of multinational business management. When I studied international economics as an undergraduate some 20 years ago, I was fascinated by the flow of a wide variety of products, components, and raw materials around the world. International trade economists are interested in finding what factors determine such trade flows. Wrongly or correctly, balance of trade is often considered to represent the economic strengths of a trading nation. However, nations do not engage in trade; individual firms do. In other words, real players of trade are not in the equation of international trade economists. Ever since my enlightenment with this reality, I have wanted to study the flow of products and components as managed by multinational firms around the world.

Multinational firms' management of the flow of products and components transcends the bilateral concept of trade statistics. Let us take a look at a hypothetical German firm exporting finished products to the United States. To the executives of this firm, this export transaction may be nothing more than a last phase of the firm's value-adding activities they have managed. Indeed, this German company procures certain components from Britain and Japan, other components from the United States, and also from itself in Germany, and assembles a finished product in its Dusseldorf plant for export to the United States. A British supplier of critical components is a joint venture majority-owned by the German company, while a Japanese supplier has a licensing agreement with this German company that provides most of technical know-how. A U.S. supplier is in fact a subsidiary of the German company. In other words, this particular export transaction by a German firm for the U.S. market . . .

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