On risk and cost in global sourcing
The benefits of global sourcing as part of a firm's purchasing strategy have been widely discussed in the academic literature, yet so there are few models that provide a comprehensive risk and cost assessment to guide managerial decision-making. In particular, few models capture the dynamic nature of many cost drivers, such as transportation and energy cost, labour cost inflation, or carbon offset costs, in their calculations. In this paper, we define three basic cost elements in global sourcing: static, dynamic and hidden cost, and use this framework to assess the costs and risks inherent in global sourcing scenarios from three different points of view: conceptually, analytically and empirically. We highlight the key learning points from each perspective and propose a total cost model of how to make informed global sourcing decisions, which we test by applying it to three exploratory case studies of global sourcing arrangements.
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