Managing Human and Product Issues in a Global Expansion for Manufacturing Industry
Manufacturing companies are identifying huge markets overseas for their products. The markets are expansive based on population in jurisdictions such as India and China. However, going global brings some challenges, including human resource and product issues, ranging from competition, new employees and customers from new cultures, financial and supply chain issues. The following essay explores how manufacturing companies’ managers can address human and product problems, mainly supply and competition challenges, when expanding to the international markets.
Strategies for Managing Human Issues in the Global Markets
One strategy that must play in this environment is managing cultural disparities. International employees may meet cultural differences with the company’s in-house staff and managers. As part of the due diligence, the managers must research how organizations are run in the target global markets. The manager must then coordinate dialogs that tackle cross-cultural issues that might hinder business operations and establish the best way for the workforce to work together. Cultural awareness and sensitivity bridge the culture gaps and build a strong work relationship between the management and the workers. The company can consider aspects such as investing in intercultural training (Lozano, & Escrich, 2017). Such can be achieved through cultural talks, awareness workshops, and celebrating multicultural festivals.
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Open communication can also help the managers build a sense of community amidst the diverse workforce and customers, enhancing engagement. Successful global manufacturing companies such as BMW sustain their diverse labor force through open communication. The company’s multinational team of experts operate as a single unit, engaging and exchanging ideas via virtual collaborative technologies to add value to the firm (Vance & Paik, 2015). For a company to expand to the global markets, accessibility is an essential facet for effective collaboration, ensuring that the global workforce is part of its decision-making.
Managing Product Issues
Managers must make proactive decisions to counter issues related to supply chain and competition, among other topics in the global markets. Several strategies are used to manage supply chain risks and competition. Manufacturing companies can consider local production in the new market to minimize manufacturing risks such as production disruption caused by delays. The manager can go local, sourcing raw materials in the foreign market and manufacturing products locally to evade supply chain risks caused by delay. The strategy takes significant advantage of lower-cost labor, local knowledge, and understanding of regional suppliers. However, caution must be taken for the quality of local materials and exposure to political risks. When local materials’ quality is poor, the manager goes with out-of-country suppliers integrated with local assembly. Companies such as Dell have tried the strategy, and it was successful, particularly in Latin America (Xu, 2020). In this case, the company source for high-tech components globally but make customized assembly locally.
Once they understand the market, multinational organization managers also need to evaluate its competitive assets, establish competitive advantage, and manage the competition. Differentiation strategy has proven effective for firms entering new global markets. The company should study the market and produce distinctive products appealing to local tests, which existing firms cannot make cost-effectively. The company can also adopt a focus strategy focusing on one market segment and perfecting its services along that line as they learn the market and gradually expand (Soosay et al., 2016). The strategy helps the firm to gain market attraction as it grows.
This essay has explored strategies managers adopt to manage human and product issues in a global expansion. Like other industries, managers in manufacturing face a challenge managing employees from different cultures in the international markets as the organization began to interact with new clients and workforce. Organizations are also faced with tough product-related decisions expanding to a new market. Managers must formulate strategies to manage these issues and achieve success.
Lozano, J. F., & Escrich, T. (2017). Cultural diversity in business: A critical reflection on the ideology of tolerance. Journal of Business Ethics, 142(4), 679-696.
Soosay, C., Nunes, B., Bennett, D. J., Sohal, A., Jabar, J., & Winroth, M. (2016). Strategies for sustaining manufacturing competitiveness: comparative
e case studies in Australia and Sweden. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 27(1), 6-37.
Vance, C. M., & Paik, Y. (2015). Managing a global workforce. Routledge.
Xu, H. (2020). Minimizing the ripple effect caused by operational risks in a make-to-order supply chain. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.