China's super consumers offer businesses an enormous economic opportunity on the mainland, in Greater China, overseas, and online, but as the China Post example in the previous chapter illustrates, it also presents one of the most difficult challenges for supply chains. We can't say this too often or too emphatically—the companies who succeed with Chinese consumers are the companies who master their global, China, regional, and local supply chains.
For more than 25 years, supply chain, in China, meant manufacturing products and exporting them to other countries. The Chinese consumer was an afterthought, if a thought at all, as the country lived up to its reputation as the factory of the world. But all of this has changed since China emerged as the largest consumer market in the world. As the Chinese consumer continues to grow more sophisticated, supply chains will need to match (and even exceed) this rate of change and focus on end-to-end operations in the same manner as the most successful global companies.
Retail and consumer product operations driven by e-commerce are transforming rapidly, and China is no exception.
How can supply chains improve to meet this huge new challenge? Tompkins International is a global supply-chain consulting firm, based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The company has its Asian headquarters in Shanghai. There are two divisions in the Shanghai office, the market strategy and implementation practice, ...