Global Operations

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What It Takes to Reshore Manufacturing Successfully

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

The process of bringing assembly work back to U.S. factories from abroad is more challenging than the economics would predict. In the United States, many key resources, including the manufacturing workforce,
have atrophied. Author Willy C. Shih (Harvard Business School) recommends that to reduce turnover, companies that embrace reshoring — bringing assembly work back from abroad — encourage workers to complete training and certification.

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Free Article

From the Editor: Innovation and China

In today’s global economy, there aren’t many large companies that can afford to ignore China in their plans for growth. The Summer 2014 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review features a special report on China, with insights about how to learn from China, what the future may hold for the Chinese economy — and how to do business in China despite the challenges of protecting intellectual property there.

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Free Article

The Trouble with Supply Chains

The UN’s Global Compact report identifies auditing the supply chain as the biggest obstacle to putting sustainability principle into practice. Companies simply don’t have enough information about suppliers’ sustainability practices to determine which links on the supply chain will provide the best outcome. But as global data sources become more all-encompassing — and companies’ analytics capabilities grow more sophisticated — that is changing.

Image courtesy of Flickr user utpal.

Should Top Management Relocate Across National Borders?

International relocations of entire corporate headquarters are rare. But the relocation of top management team members is happening more and more. For instance, a desire to be close to its major global customers led Halliburton Co., an international oil services group, to relocate the company’s CEO from Houston to Dubai. But there are strategic costs and benefits of such decisions. Deciding which option to pursue depends on the strength and interplay of the relocation drivers and barriers.

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The Practice of Global Product Development

Best practice in product development (PD) is migrating from local collaboration to global collaboration. Global product development (GPD) represents a transformation for business, and it applies to a range of industries. The objective of this article is to present frameworks that can help companies address strategic and tactical issues when considering GPD. The concepts have been developed through discussions with more than 100 companies in 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

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Supply-Chain Culture Clash

Manufacturing practices popularized by the Japanese, such as total quality management and just-in-time procurement, have become the worldwide gold standard for producing high-quality products. One might expect the same to be true of Japanese methods of logistics management (planning and arranging the transport and storage of goods and materials).

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The Global Costs of Opacity

Although large-scale risks garner media attention, it is the everyday, small-scale risks associated with a lack of transparency in countries’ legal, economic, regulatory and governance structures that can confound global investment and commerce. New research identifies the causes and measures the effects of this phenomenon.

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Offshoring Without Guilt

The increasingly common practice of migrating business processes overseas to locales such as India, the Philippines and China is often seen as a negative phenomenon that suppresses domestic job markets. On the contrary, says the author, offshoring is a critical component of next-generation business design, a dynamic process of continually identifying how to deliver superior value to customers and shareholders.

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How To Do Strategic Supply-Chain Planning

Few organizations understand the benefits of having tactical planners, who use computer models to optimize the supply chain, in close communication with the senior managers who formulate strategy. The author outlines a planning approach that ensures that critical supply-chain details inform a company’s business strategy and that supply-chain management aligns with the strategic direction.

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