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Business logistics -- Case studies, Industrial procurement, Business logistics -- Computer simulation, Business logistics -- Environmental aspects


The sourcing of products from across the global marketplace is an increasing trend associated with economic development. This trend is the result of many independent decisions taken by firms around the world looking for new sources of competitive advantage. However, these decisions can also have unintended consequences, exposing the firms to hidden costs and risks, creating congestion at different points in the global transport infrastructure and increasing emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.

This report presents the results of a project conducted in 2006-07, aimed at improving global sourcing practices, with a particular emphasis on the implications for the UK. The project addresses the subject of global sourcing at two different levels: at a firm level it provides organisations with a means to conduct a more comprehensive analysis of the costs and risks of global sourcing; at a government level, it provides insights for public policy in relation to the future development of the UK’s transport infrastructure and the impact of global trade on the environment.

The project had three main components. Firstly, a systematic review of the literature was conducted, providing a comprehensive coverage of previous research in the subject. This was followed by fifteen case studies in seven different industries, which allowed an in-depth evaluation of the processes followed by organisations when conducting sourcing decisions, and allowing a comparison of the practices in different industries. Finally, a computer model able to analyse the costs, risks, lead-times and environmental implications of global sourcing decision was developed.


© Crown Copyright 2007

A product of the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Cranfield School of Management

Note: At the time of writing, Carlos Mena was affiliated with Cranfield University.

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