The term Slowbalisation, created to describe the slowdown in international trade, is on the rise.
Since the early 1990s, when globalization began, it has driven economic growth. Today, however, global trade is slowing down and occurring in more regional terms.
What is the impact of this shrinkage on business and the supply chain? In this post, we will reflect on this topic. Check it out!
Why Slowbalisation is happening
In the 1990s, globalization gave rise to the idea of a flat world, where borders mattered little when it came to the flow of ideas, goods, services and capital.
Development in the technology, communication and transportation sectors reinforced this concept, suggesting a world increasingly connected.
But in recent years this movement has begun to slow down, giving rise to Slowbalisation. Why is that?
A conjunction of factors has led to this condition, among them, geopolitical changes. The advance of nationalist and protectionist governments, especially in the United States, has put globalization in the spotlight.
But that is not the only reason. The technological advance that has occurred in every corner of the planet has leveled products and services, making it easier for the final consumer to find what he or she needs in a place close to where they are located. This is because the same consumer, more aware and demanding, started to create a demand for customized products and faster deliveries.
Another determining factor for Slowbalisation is the high costs involved in purchasing raw materials. Especially fuel, which also interferes with the value of transporting goods.
Price fluctuations in the fuel market, in fact, constantly affect the logistics sector, generating inflation in the final price of products. They act as a kind of domino effect, where carriers increase their values in order to not suffer losses and purchasing companies pass on the same increase to the final price of products, in a compensation that affects the logistics chain.
And we must not forget that globalization has allowed emerging countries to become richer, being able to produce more and, of course, increase the consumption of their own goods – which leads us to conclude that it may have been a victim of their great success.
Slowbalisation X Supply Chain
During the 1990s and early 21st century, many companies defined their supply chains in the use of cheap labor, even if it was on the other side of the planet.
With the shift to just-in-time logistics, however, this type of decision changed, creating yet another reason for Slowbalisation.
The adoption of a model where stock is acquired as needed, operating at continuously low levels, helps to reduce costs and increase efficiency. However, it requires a very careful programming for the demand of products, avoiding shortage of materials – in our blog you find an article that shows what is the most beneficial for company finances in industry 4.0: buying products or services (CAPEX or OPEX)? It’s worth reading to find out!
Instead of large quantities of materials – purchased at lower prices in countries with lower labor costs – we now see came into play:
- local workforce, with greater qualification and knowledge of the production stages;
- technological solutions capable of planning and monitoring each stage of the production process, avoiding waste and interruptions due to lack of parts.
Indeed, regionalization relies on technological advances. The Industry 4.0 supply chain has become much smarter, incorporating data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
These capabilities generate increased visibility and control of the supply chain, allowing rapid identification of any failure that may affect it, making your operations more efficient and optimized.
And, for the future, it is quite reasonable to assume that new technologies will emerge to develop the supply chain according to the needs of different markets and decrease the dependency on products that today can only be found in more distant places. This is the case of the 3D printer, for example, among other innovative technologies we have already talked about in our blog – learn more about 4 technologies that will change global trade forever!
Reliable Supply Chain: essential in Slowbalisation
One of the main precautions to be taken with the supply chain in post-globalisation is to guarantee the availability of the materials needed for production.
This is already possible with the existing sophisticated technologies, which analyze the chain in real time, ensuring efficiency, agility and cost reduction – in this sense, know a proposal that unites reliability and speed at the time of purchasing your company.
But in the Slowbalisation era it is also essential to have an extended supply chain network. And the best way to guarantee this network is to count on the partnership of a company that can supply any item with the best price and term conditions.
Soluparts specializes in the acquisition of all types of industrial materials for maintenance, repairs and operations, facilitating the entire purchasing process.
Count on experienced professionals to make your supply chain much more efficient – even in times of Slowbalisation. Get a quote and surprise yourself with our service.
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