Getting a Handle on Global Sourcing

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By Jorina Fontelera, ThomasNet Industrial Market TrendsTheoretically, sourcing globally for inexpensive materials may seem easy. In practice, though, the process and execution is much more complicated. Companies report that sourcing is now driven by product quality as well as cost, and that Asia is not the main source of materials for U.S. manufacturers.

Today, global sourcing is more complex and organizations expect more from their global suppliers. Although focus may be shifting from cost to quality, cost is still the main reason for global sourcing today. The top five reasons organizations sourced globally was to reduce raw material cost (73%), followed by increasing supply chain flexibility (37%), competitive response (37%), expanding existing offers (29%) and for improving quality (22%).

A survey released in May found that U.S. manufacturers turned to suppliers from North America (64%), China (19%), Europe (7%) and the remaining 10% sourced from South America, Africa and other countries.

The practice of global sourcing is growing. Worryingly, however, companies say they do not have an effective procedure for measuring and tracking their savings nor a way to set quality standards.

For more on global sourcing, including the hidden costs to monitor when sourcing, and how to manage risk and ensure product safety and quality, read the full article, Getting a Handle on Global Sourcing, at



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