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Going for the Gold: Navigating the Supply Chain like an Olympian

Going for the Gold: Navigating the Supply Chain like an Olympian

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics buzzed with competitive spirit and international fellowship this year, fueling each country’s fiery national pride for the next two years. Similar to how the Olympics bring the world together through competition, brands are driven to grow internationally, bringing their products to the world to compete with other brands. When it comes to global commerce, brands with the right tools and team can pave their way to victory — and the path that will lead them there is the supply chain. Just as the Olympians hire world-class coaches to guide them, brands need the right supply chain partner to help navigate the global supply chain and go for the gold.

Maneuvering global obstacles

Several Winter Olympic events involve long, winding tracks or courses that athletes must maneuver with flexibility and grace. Steering quickly between ski slaloms or cutting around a sharp bend while speed skating requires quick response, agility, and strategy. The same can be said of the global supply chain. As digital transformation continually raises consumers’ expectations for convenience — with offerings like next-day shipping, built-to-order products, and IoT-power subscription models — the supply chain becomes longer and forces brands to confront mounting complexities, especially on a global scale.

When it comes to global expansion, supply chain partners can help brands weave around obstacles to hit each checkpoint and meet consumer expectations — starting with simplifying brands’ e-commerce sites. Online shopping can make reaching international markets easier, but also demands that brands make serious adjustments to their back end. A supply chain partner like ModusLink can offer financial management services solutions that enables e-commerce platforms to accept regionalized currencies, comply with local regulations and implement risk checks to authorize recurring payments.

Once their sites are up and running, brands need to ensure their distribution and fulfillment centers can meet the expectations created by a high-quality e-commerce experience. Shipping overseas can be a lengthy and time-intensive process, especially with any new border laws Brexit may put in place. Worldly supply chain partners will have an international network of sites that brands can tap into to bring products as close to the consumer as possible — optimizing the entire end-to-end process, from demand planning to distribution and even postponement for customized products, ultimately shortening the last mile and lead times.

Innovation and expertise

Other Olympic events, such as figure skating, are less about maneuvering and more about showcasing finesse, talent or expertise. As brands enter the global arena, it’s important to have offerings that establish brands as best-of-breed even beyond their own country. An essential area to implement such value is customer service. Supply chain partners can help brands to bring their customer service to the Olympic level by offering contact center solutions with around-the-clock global support that handles phone and email contacts, troubleshooting any confusion or complaints in several languages. In tandem with offering stellar customer service is the optimizing the returns process. A supply chain solutions provider can manage a brand’s returns process — also known as reverse logistics — allowing them to refund, repair, refurbish, remarket or recycle a product to maximize value rather than risk subpar consumer satisfaction. That way, while other brands are skating in circles, the best brands are throwing sophisticated triple axel jumps and receiving perfect 10s from consumer judges.

For brands looking to go global—why not go for the gold? Whether it’s maneuvering international complexity or earning a spotlight on the world stage, the right supply chain partner is ready to optimize the supply chain and get products across the finish line for Olympic-sized business wins.

To learn how ModusLink can bring brands to international victory, visit our solutions page. For more information on our global capabilities, download this brochure.

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