Managing the Risks of Multinational Supply Chains

Managing supply chain risks is critical to the success of any business.

Although, the importance of supply chain risk management is perhaps most clear in Asia Pacific with its high growth rate, shifting industry trends, increasingly sophisticated consumers and expanding businesses.

An Overview

With these marketplace dynamics comes greater interconnectivity of multinational risks. According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Asia Pacific includes nine of the world’s top 15 countries importing and exporting intermediate goods.

Companies in the region depend upon goods and services from companies in other countries in order to successfully operate their businesses, and vice versa. As the region becomes more interconnected and trade flows continue to increase, protecting valuable supply chains from both existing and new risks becomes critical to the success of companies based there.

However, managing these risks can be challenging. Today’s supply chains are becoming deeper and spread over more countries. Knowing exactly what, where and how connections can impact a company’s business can be difficult.

It is not uncommon for companies to have supply chains that go down several layers, beginning with one supplier or distributor which is dependent upon a second, which in turn depends upon a third and so on. A problem at any of these levels has the potential to disrupt a company’s business operations.

As a colleague of mine once explained: “You are only as good as your weakest link.” So it is important to have clear line of sight to all of the links in a company’s supply chain. Typically, issues such as quality control and incomplete or late delivery are top of mind when considering problems with the potential to disrupt a supply chain. There is another risk that is often underestimated, but can be equally as damaging – financial failure.

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King Trade Capital Provides Supply Chain Finance Solution to Startup

King Trade Capital announced it has established a $1 million supply chain finance solution for a Texas based startup. KTC was contacted by a nationwide factor to help accelerate the startups sales growth in the apparel industry. The owners of the startup have extensive relationships with small to mid-size retailers and years of experience sourcing goods from overseas factories. Through their relationships in the apparel industry they were able to secure annual production programs to manufacture branded goods on behalf of several men’s and women’s brands.

Due to the fact the client was a newly established entity with no financial or operating history, they were unable to obtain funding through traditional financing sources. The client was in need of a financial partner capable of providing the capital and structure necessary to have fabric sourced and garments manufactured overseas.

Initially the client’s factories wanted cash deposits in order to purchase fabric that would then be cut and sewn into finished garments. Payment for the cut and sew operations would then be due upon shipment. The owners, knowledgeable of the risks associated with sending cash deposits overseas, were seeking a safer solution to finance their inventory purchases.

King Trade Capital evaluated the experience of the owner’s and their customer and factory relationships, ultimately gaining comfort in their ability to perform. After negotiating with the factories, King Trade Capital and the client were able to structure individualized solutions for each factory, utilizing letters of credit that allow them to purchase fabric, complete the cut and sew manufacturing process and get paid according to their terms with the Customers.

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China’s supply chain plan could pose threat to Taiwan

A plan laid out by Chinese authorities to cultivate a domestic supply chain for the country’s high-tech manufacturing sector is expected to pose a serious threat to Taiwanese companies, government sources said Saturday.

In voicing the concerns, Ministry of Economic Affairs sources said China’s efforts to help its own high-tech supply chain flourish to lower dependence on imported parts have already reduced China’s trade dependence on Taiwan.

The plan unveiled by Beijing in May to create a manufacturing revolution underpinned by smart technologies over the next 10 years could deal a further blow to Taiwan’s exports, they said.

The latest plan for the mainland to grow its own high-tech sector, called “Made In China 2015,” takes aim at various sectors, including the information technology, and puts a heavy emphasis on the semiconductor segment.

According to figures compiled by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), the ratio of China’s imports from Taiwan to total imports fell to 7.76 percent in 2014, from 11.3 percent in 2005.

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Six trends changing the face of supply chain finance

Six trends changing the face of supply chain finance

Supply chain finance is revolutionising the way companies buy and sell, but its full potential has yet to be realised.

The amount of cross-border SCF conducted today is just a tenth of what could be done say European banks. One reason is the complexity of SCF. However innovations in both developed and emerging economies promise to change that modest uptake in the coming years.

Making SCF easier to use and understand is essential if it is to become the norm in financing global trade. Several trends should speed that process:

1. SCF is becoming widely accepted in cross border trade

Bankers expect the European and US crossborder markets to grow 10-20 per cent a year for the rest of this decade. Already some banks have seen annual growth of 30-40 per cent andin the UK and Germany that figure is closer to 70 per cent, according to Demica.

2. More buyers are financing their suppliers

SCF has traditionally focused more on the relationship between suppliers and their banks. This is changing. New technology is helping buyers use SCF to help their strategic suppliers at better rates than they might find elsewhere, thanks to often higher credit ratings.

3. Non-bank players are emerging as an alternative source of SCF

New entrants, including peer-to-peer lenders, dynamic discounters and early payment marketplaces help buyers and suppliers exchange purchase orders, invoices and accelerate cash transfers. Private investors, financial institutions or even buyers provide funding for these new solutions to invest in their own payables.

4. Providers unite to offer a global service

Fragmented banks are recognising the need to partner logistics companies, local banks, export credit agencies and other transaction banks to offer corporates solutions across the supply chain. That is a change from the more fragmented approach until now.

5. Technology is replacing the paperwork

Electronic documentation is playing an ever greater role in international trade business as corporates automate trade supply chains toimprove speed and efficiency. That means corporates who use a number of banks require them to deliver electronic solutions on a common platform.

6. Countries are getting involved

Governments around the globe are paying more attention to supply chain finance. The UK for instance has initiated an SCF programme with some of Britain’s leading companies and banks. In the US, the Treasury’s Invoice Processing Platform uses electronic invoicing to ensure that suppliers are paid on time or even early.

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