Operating your business and Supply Chain in an Ambiguous Global Economy

1-Bridge Logistics recently attended an interactive conference hosted by HSBC. The content featured panel discussions with speakers from Canadian companies who have found international success. With trade barriers like the TPP and CETA coming down around the world, Canadian businesses need to take advantage of them or they will get left behind. If you operate your business the same way in 5 years as you do today, you may find yourself far behind your competition.

David Watt - The Canadian Chief Economist for HSBC anticipates oil prices to stay lower for longer. He talked about how the Canadian dollar is linked to the price of oil which results in a negative impact as imports cost more leaving less money for services and real estate. Consumer debt and house prices have driven growth in the economy for the last 15 years and this simply cannot continue. The result is that companies are remaining cautious as they overcome the structural headwinds compounded by global investment that is not currently rebounding.

The fact is we need to work in these conditions. The silver lining is that as trade barriers come down, Canadian companies have an opportunity to explore international markets. Companies need to foster a culture of innovation and strive to find better ways of operating their business at home and abroad. Send your best people abroad to set up your business and hire locally to ensure the culture and values of your organization are shared while balancing local laws, regulations and processes in your new markets.

Regardless of an organizations size, business scope or markets they operate in, there are some basic needs that must be met from a supply chain perspective. Moving products from point A to point B as cost effectively and efficiently as possible without damage are the basics. To remain competitive and understand how your supply chain impacts the strategic direction of your business more is needed.

In order to remain competitive in a globally driven economy it is paramount that a business is able to understand what is critical for their supply chain (needs) and what they believe would help it run at an optimum level (wants). Canadian companies will need to ensure they are partnered with a transportation provider that can facilitate growth in their current and potential new markets. Local or regional knowledge is invaluable to remain competitive and grow.

You will need to consider how your logistics provider can help position your business to excel. What processes and technology do they have in place? Is it scalable? Do they have broad market knowledge or is it niche specific? A strong transportation provider can play a major role in the growth of your company.   Consider Target Canada, which struggled to understand local markets and preferences. Canadians enjoyed the options and savings experienced in US Target locations. When they visited Target locations in Canada and experienced empty shelves and higher prices it resulted in Target Canada closing its doors.

Stay tuned to your customers’ needs and create a culture of innovation in your business. Be prepared to adapt to a global economy and partner with the right logistics provider to get your products to market as cost effectively and efficiently as possible.

For more information visit www.onebridgelogistics.com