Breaking the chain to spin a web
It is argued that open supply webs allow companies to achieve better global distribution than previously available because their supply chain efficiency is improved by opening space and assets to other companies’ short-term needs, geographic reach is extended and customers gain from fast and reliable provision from globally dispersed facilities. Companies are therefore able to exploit a more open supply web and have access to more distributed manufacturing, assembly and distribution facilities which can be used for both short and long term contracts without having to make large investments, take on long-term leasing or strategic partnerships. As we move forward, the core questions will be how organisations seek to balance the reward of greater efficiency against the apparent commercial risk of partnerships with competitors. The reality, so some see, is that the transparency and effectiveness of a more flexible approach will become the main driver in making the open supply web the norm for the future.