China expert to address Smart Conference

Smart Conference to hear how to manage fragmented, inefficient logistics which is still presenting challenges in Asia

China expert to address Smart Conference
China expert to address Smart Conference

By Anna Game-Lopata | June 25, 2013

The complex, fragmented and inefficient nature of the logistics is still presenting challenges for those doing business in Asia.

That’s according to Mark Millar, Managing Director of Hong-Kong based consultancy M Power Associates and a speaker at this year’s Smart Conference which kicks off tomorrow.

With 25 years of global supply chain experience, much of it in the Asian region, Millar says multinational companies seeking additional sources of growth should be wary of generalising about the Asian market.

"The region’s dynamic economies span developing, developed and emerging markets – all at different stages of maturity and sophistication," Millar says. "The nuances can be difficult to read and expensive to ignore."

"Asia is not one market, but in fact a collection of very different markets that vary widely, especially when it comes to the maturity of their logistics networks and supply chain ecosystems.

With the spotlight is increasingly focused on the Asia region Millar says companies should be prepared to seek informed and independent insights to help them navigate the complex landscape.

He says there are huge opportunities in Asia as the middle classes grow exponentially and demand for consumer products increases.

However it is critical for businesses to utilise informed insights and the right partners to provide a deeper understanding of the region if they are to benefit

"A key factor for businesses to consider – for their logistics and distribution activities – is whether they will be best served by a global 3PL or a local service provider," Millar says.

"There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

"In making their decision, companies must evaluate a number of factors including local market knowledge, sector specific expertise, information technology systems, international best practices – and of course price," he says.

Millar says the top three key challenges for multinational corporations in Asia include infrastructure, bureaucracy and talent.

"Companies also need to deal with multi modal distribution into the hinterland regions, for which they will need partners with local market knowledge," he says.

"Different consumer markets may also require product localisation, adding an extra layer of complexity to supply chain operations."

Additionally, Asia comprises diverse geography such as the massive land masses of China and India, or the substantial archipelagoes of Indonesia and the Philippines.

Heavy traffic congestion in major cities also adds to the complexity of logistics operations, impacting supply chain effectiveness and efficiency.

Mark Millar will present his insights on supply chain in the Asian region at the Smart Conference at 1.45pm, Thursday 26 June.

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