Global Supply Chains: What on Earth are They?

Global supply chains enable businesses to obtain and circulate services and products between various countries and continents around the world via numerous networks. Businesses can better optimise their economic output by operating through global supply chains.

How do you manage a global supply chain?

In order to efficiently manage a global supply chain, there is a lot to consider and be aware of. Strategic planning and risk assessments are critical elements to mitigate for the possibility of occurrences which could disrupt the supply chain. Further to this, ensuring that your company complies with legislation, integrates relevant technology programmes and establishes positive relationships with members of the supply chain, will warrant successful management of your global supply chain.

What are the Pros and Cons of Global Supply Chains?

As is the case with many procurement and supply opportunities, there are both negative and positive elements. Looking at both sides will enable businesses to further understand what global supply chains are and if they are suitable for their organisation.

Global Supply Chain pros


1. Broader variety of products and services

Opening up your organisation to global supply chains will increase your procurement options and can assist businesses to access unique products and services, allowing them to standout from their competitors.

2. Lower expenditures

Global supply chains can offer reduced prices of products and services, due to the fact other countries may have smaller labour and manufacturing costs.

3. New market

Increased procurement opportunities aren’t the only benefit of global supply chains. Depending on the location of where you’re buying products and services from, your business will in turn have access to new markets in a multitude of countries around the globe.

Global Supply Chain cons


1. Communication challenges

Global supply chains transcend a multitude of international borders. Following this, it is highly likely that there will be language barriers for businesses to overcome when dealing with international entities.

2. Increased risk

When a business works with global supply chains, naturally there are some added risks involved. This includes the chance of events occurring beyond your control. For example, in March 2021 the Suez Canal (a waterway that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea) was blocked by a large, stranded vessel for almost a week. An event such as this, can gravely disrupt the flow of global supply chains. Moreover, the geographical location of some points of your global supply chain might have an increased chance of natural disasters or political complications – it is important to acknowledge these potential disruptions and create contingency plans in case they occur.

3. Time constraints

Due to the sheer distance between various countries, the lead times on the movement of goods can be slower than those on a local supply chain.

4. International competition

Since your business will be competing against a larger number of brands and services through global supply chains in new markets, your company’s competition is likely to rise. Ensuring that the global supply chain is ran efficiently, will give the company a competitive advantage over its rivals.

5. Legal obstacles

As global supply chains involve crossing borders; it is more than likely that your company will have to consider a multitude of factors, in order to adhere to the varying regulations and laws from country to country.

SRSCC logo strip

Procurement and Supply Training with SRSCC

Increase procurement and supply knowledge within your business with SRSCC’s accredited Supply Chain Apprenticeships.

Take a look at the latest procurement courses, available to study online.

Contact us online or alternatively call one of our experts today on 01772 282555


Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Want to learn more? Contact our team now

Global Supply Chains: What on Earth are They?

Emma Jackson

Course Mentor

Emma joined SRSCC in 2019 on a freelance basis taking on a teaching and learning consultancy role. She has 20 years of experience in education as a qualified teacher, working in adult learning, secondary and primary school settings in the UK as well as abroad, namely Japan, Hungary, and France. 

More recently Emma has been teaching yoga, resilience, and mindfulness in primary schools to promote the physical and mental well-being of both pupils and staff.

Being multi-lingual and having a zeal for communication, cultural exchange and life-long learning Emma jumped at the opportunity to join the company as a Course Mentor. Building a good rapport with her learners, supporting them to overcome any challenges on their apprentice journey and facilitating them to fulfil their potential is her motivation.

Cumbrian born and bred in the Lake District, Emma enjoys the outdoors. When not relaxing in tree pose, she is most at home trail running in the hills with her husband and dog. Having clocked up 4 marathons to date, the application of her long-distance running mindset of perseverance, determination, discipline and patience is key to supporting her learners in their studies.

SRSCC Staff Images Ashlee Scribbins

Ashlee Scribbins

Office Administrator

Ashlee has joined the SRSCC team as an Office Administrator, and with a level 2 and 3 in Business Administration, she fits right in!

Ashlee has a wide range of experience from working as a Legal Secretary for the Royal Air Force to managing a team. Ashlee is eager to use her customer service and business administration skills for her new role at SRSCC.

SRSCC Staff Images Declan Hemingway

Declan Hemingway

Sales and Business Development Assistant

Declan recently graduated University studying BSc Business and Management with Marketing achieving a 2:1 and was looking for a role in Business Development to put his knowledge and education to the test.

He has a strong desire to grow the SRSCC brand and customer base. Working alongside our Business Development and Relationship Manager; he looks to strengthen both our Commercial and Apprenticeship learner portfolio by liaising with potential and existing learners through building customer relationships and understanding their requirements.