'Glocal' solutions takes the best from global and local practices
Strategic sourcing may help companies adapt to a new landscape, and that might mean being both global and local at the same time. In the industry, this is sometimes known as "glocal," and while it's hardly a new term, it could take on a special relevance now that supply chains are increasingly intricate. In fact, sourcing goes right along with the classic idea of what "glocalization" represents.

What does it mean to be glocal?

A glocal business is working on two fronts: expanding around the world while also managing each individual region successfully. Businesses have to keep their brands intact while shifting to match each new environment and market to adapt to new regional preferences.
This concept actually goes beyond manufacturing and includes all of business. TechTarget once revealed how even a company like Disney has had to redefine itself in certain ways to help engage with new cultures.

Done well, a glocal enterprise could become newly significant among a possible market. Glocalization offers the chance to connect with different people around the world, such as setting up communication between the U.S. and Pacific markets.

Maintaining strong connections

Another aspect of going glocal could be changing the way the a company operates. In a glocal situation, a regional business arm could end up being more of a lever for local action than an extension of the larger, general company body. Last year, Uniqlo President of Brand Creativity John Jay told The Business of Fashion about the ways businesses can respond on the local level and stay equally important for each new market.

"The goal is to be relevant," he said. "We are a Japanese company trying to be relevant around the world and we're going to do that by joining forces with many different cultures around the world. In order to be a great global company, you have to be a great local company, because you have to touch people where they live."

The source said that this can benefit from a local culture that engages consumers and creates a substantial desire for the business, paving the way for successful interactions with local institutions. If there's a sufficient supplier relationship management strategy in place, a business can be both globally present and locally relevant.
"Supplier and buyer communication could open up newer opportunities."
Applying this to supply management

Moving across international borders can be a big step, even for a well-known brand. As Bloomberg Technology noted, there's a clear drive for foreign merchants to connect with U.S. shoppers, with logistics providing the possible bridge.

Of course, Amazon is still poised to make maneuvers in this space, the article from last year said, and has been for some years. Since it wants to eventually develop a global logistics operation of its own, the short-term goal could be enabling international merchants and taking over the shipping management role itself.

Not every company may be able to follow that model, but it does hint at the way strategic sourcing stands to help. Supplier and buyer communication could open up newer opportunities for improvement as companies use their software to promote a unified approach to working with third parties.
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