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Issues and Trends on Global Value Chain Management

Select two contemporary issues (Customs-Trends Partnerships Against Terrorism [C-TPAT], ISO 9000 certifications, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing. etc.)and their related trends (globalization, trading blocks, increased government intervention, privatization, outsourcing.etc). Then, determine the impact of these issues and trends on global value chain management.

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The first issue selected for this assignment is lean manufacturing. In its most basic form, lean manufacturing is the systematic elimination of waste from all aspects of an enterprise's operations. The transformation to lean manufacturing methods depends on the enterprise's ability to attain visibility over critical business processes, which are represented by the continuous flow of information between factory cells, distribution functions, warehousing sites, materials suppliers, customers and applications. However, this information must be synchronised with functions that are external to the plant, such as logistics and raw materials ordering in order to avoid merely pushing bottlenecks to other points in the value chain. The network infrastructure is critical because it facilitates this synchronization. Having access to accurate and timely data is essential to ensure realtime visibility of the end-to-end value chain in order to identify production bottlenecks.

Adopting a holistic lean philosophy across the entire enterprise is a journey, rather than a destination. It requires continual monitoring and incremental improvements to the productivity of the manufacturing process, the quality of the product, and the overall satisfaction of the customer. The concept of lean manufacturing goes beyond the factory floor and encompasses the processes of suppliers, customers, logistics providers and other associates.


Lean manufacturing becomes a major challenge in global value chain management because operations are spread across different countries, each having unique culture, business practices, language, time zone and logistics and communication infrastructure. In such a scenario, it becomes a big challenge for organizational employees to create coordination among the different participants of the value chain and integrate the operation in a smooth manner. Information technology tools such as web based supply chain management systems and other ERP systems play a major role in integrating such global value chain ...