Comment: Finding the right synergy between going global and staying local
With the advent of globalisation, businesses have opened themselves up to new areas of growth but often to the detriment of their local business environments. Conversely local businesses may be reluctant to ride the globalisation wave due to change which comes too much and too fast. Global for some is synonymous with efficiency but with that comes more standardisation. Meanwhile local business environments are seen as more agile and flexible but sometimes struggle to achieve global scale. It’s a tricky balancing act.
Working closely with a whole host of internationally savvy small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), FedEx understands that global brands can absolutely adopt a local approach, and vice versa. It’s time for businesses to rediscover local environments and understand how this can be the catalyst for further expansion.
Understand your industry to understand the balance
Industrial context as well as a firm’s overall strategic direction is central to understanding what the balance between local and global should be. If we take the automotive market as an example, we can see that it is a force to be reckoned with, accounting for more than £71.6bn turnover and with 160 countries importing UK vehicles. A company which has made clear inroads into this market has been Ubisense – a world-leader in Enterprise Location Intelligence solutions.
Not only have they improved decision making but they have also automated processes for many companies working in the automotive sector. Estimates from Ubisense have recently pointed to how around 4% of the world’s passenger vehicles are now built with an Ubisense solution.
Ubisense is a prime example of a company which understands its market. It has achieved a global presence, with 500 customers across 50 countries, and its service is underpinned by research and development through local specialist knowledge in Cambridge.
Collaboration is key
Companies benefit when there are a range of views brought forward to the table. When managers identify best practices and insights and distill this across the company, all employees gain access to a shared pool of knowledge.
Many businesses are established by a group of co-founders as genuine peers can help to challenge insights and support the business in equal measure. One founder for example may have in-depth global knowledge, whilst another has built up a career through specialising locally first.
Location is everything
Not all businesses are established in global metropolises like London. They can also tap into more regional locations like Cambridge where they can access infrastructure founded by generations of entrepreneurs. One of the world’s leading universities means that the city is global in its own right but its relatively small scale means that it can also be considered as a local community with a variety of local businesses.
Even locations like London are testament to local being global. Where a quarter of residents are foreign born, the metropolis is buoyed by a healthy cultural mix, with an employee base which is multi-dimensional and multi-disciplined.
Businesses are opening up to local and global needs and knowledge
Whilst globalisation has undoubtedly led to a more interconnected world, it can also lead to business change coming too hard and too fast. Finding the right balance between global and local could be the exact change that a company needs. As well as those factors listed above, businesses can also shift the company structure so that global players now work local. These tips can show the interplay between global and local forces and foster a culture of “change from within (and indeed) outside the organisation”.
DHL partners with Riversimple in sustainability move
Riversimple Movement, a Welsh hydrogen vehicle manufacturer, has found a new partner in the world's 11th largest employer: DHL Supply Chain. The two companies, who have recently signed an MoU, pledge to bring sustainable zero-emission vehicles to the UK, and their targets don’t stop there. The duo looks to be busy, with their sights set on developing sustainability initiatives, securing the necessary finances required to achieve the volume production of hydrogen vehicles, and designing and subsequent trialling of zero-emission transport.
DHL has already begun assisting its new partner in preparing for its first full-scale manufacturing facility, which will house the production of hydrogen-electric vehicles.
“It’s exciting to be partnering with a highly innovative company like Riversimple, which has sustainability at the heart of its mission,” says Managing Director of DHL Manufacturing Logistics UKI, Mike Bristow. “As the world’s leading logistics company, it is our responsibility to guide the industry to a sustainable future.”
DHL has recently launched “The Sustainability Playbook”, designed to create a roadmap to implement the next generation of global supply chain.
“Excellence. Simply delivered. In a sustainable way.”
As one of the leading drivers in global trade, DHL claims to be aware of its immense responsibility to steer innovation. Conscious of the impact their global operations have on the environment, the company initiated “Strategy 2025” - delivering excellence in the digital world. The goal: to focus increasingly on harnessing the potential for sustainable long-term growth and expanding the already-underway digital transformations within the business.
“Strategy 2025” aims to cumulatively invest €2bn in digitalisation through to 2025, in the hope that this will enhance customer experiences. They also predict a €1.5bn yearly run rate by FY’25.
Currently, DHL boasts a large green logistics portfolio, including carbon offsetting, green optimisation, and clean fuel and energy products, all as available ways to make the supply chain industry more sustainable.
“We have repeatedly redefined logistics, from introducing the industry’s first green product to becoming the first logistics company to commit to a zero-emissions target,” says DHL.
“In the past 15 years, we have continuously improved our carbon efficiency while introducing innovative green logistics solutions to make supply chains more sustainable and help our customers achieve their environmental goals.”
DHL move to lead supply chain sustainability
As the world’s 11th largest employer, and with around 570,000 employees worldwide, DHL is in a position to lead the supply chain towards a greener future. Its recent partnership with Riversimple hopes to inspire other companies within the industry to follow.
Hugo Spowers, Founder and Managing Director of Riversimple, acknowledges DHL’s commitment to sustainability.
“We’re very pleased to be collaborating with DHL to help us achieve mass production in the UK in the near term, and hopefully partner with us on a global level as we deliver our goal of systematically eliminating the environmental impact of personal transport.