The evolution of linear supply chains into global demand-supply networks has been happening over the last two decades. Companies have benefitted from low cost supply of labour as well as raw materials to bring down the Cost of Goods Sold for the products that they manufacture. This has resulted in bottom-line profits.
However, the path has also been significantly challenging in terms of quality issues, increasing labour costs in emerging markets, lack of agility to respond to market events, etc. There has also been significant improvement in automation in terms of robotics and 3D printing. The goal of this article is not to discuss whether this globalization is good or not. Our assumption is that the inexorable force of global markets is going to shape supply chains in the future as well.