1. Compare and Contrast Supply Chains
Globalization is the most recent aspect of global capitalism. It is about functional integration between internationally dispersed activities. There are two types of economic networks that promote globalization. They are producer-driven and buyer-driven global commodity chains. A commodity chain is a whole range of activities involved in the design, production, and marketing of a product.
As such, producer driven commodity chains are transnational chains where manufacturers play a central role in coordinating production networks. On the other end, buyer-driven commodity chains are those industries where large retailers, marketers, and branded manufacturers play a central role of setting up decentralized production networks in a variety of exporting countries. Just as the traditional supply chain, the commodity chains frameworks is based on the flow of goods involved in the production and distribution of products.
There are two basic types of commodity chains. One is the automotive commodity chain, which is comprised of giant assemblers, and manufacturers. There are also suppliers ranging from small shops to large multinationals. The auto parts industry/manufacturers, are divided between Original Equipment manufacturers and the replacement market. The suppliers and distributors of the two markets may be independent firms or subsidiaries of larger companies.
The second type of commodity chain is the apparel commodity chain. This one relies heavily on low-skilled labour, and therefore, relies more on transnational activities such as importing of finished products. The apparel commodity chain is comprised of retailers, marketers, and branded manufacturers.
Comparisons and Contrasts between the two supply Chains
A major difference between the two supply chains is that automotive commodity chains rely on skilled labour right from the production stage to when a complete product gets to the consumer. The apparel commodity chain relies heavily on low-skilled labour. This explains why retailers and manufacturers in the apparel commodity chains are taking to transnational activities such as importing and branding. The case is different on the other end because in the automotive commodity chain, the transnational assemblers are skilled enough to assemble the parts they get from manufacturers.
Another contrast between the two commodity chains is that the automotive commodity chain is comprised of assemblers, manufacturers (OEMs and the replacement markets), and distributors, where each level has its suppliers and distributors. This explains the presence of tiers in the chain, where different parts firms are consolidating to reduce the need for importing finished products. The apparel commodity chains is comprised of retailers, marketers, and branded manufacturers. The retailers in this chain are now relying less on the manufacturers, and are importing products to satisfy the demand in the market. In other words, this chain has less consolidation among its participants.
Another difference between the two commodity chains is that the automobile commodity chain is a producer driven commodity chain. This means that it is a transnational chain where manufacturers play a central role in coordinating production networks. The apparel commodity chain is a buyer-driven commodity chain. Here, the large retailers, marketers, and branded manufacturers play a central role of setting up decentralized production networks in a variety of exporting countries. However, all these activities are focused on ensuring product flow.
In the apparel commodity chain, manufacturers have the option of selling their products directly to consumers, or take their products through a marketer, who then set up contracts with distributors and suppliers. For instance, contract farmers can sell their produce to LecoFruit, or directly to supermarkets. This is different with the automobile commodity chain where the assemblers have to work with suppliers and distributors at different levels to distribute their products to consumers. A good example of this is that Ford can only sell its products through transnational distributors.
2. Given the World's longstanding occupation with war, how can peace be achieved?
It is evident that war has become a common happening in various parts of the world. This includes the developed world as well as the third world countries. Looking at recent war incidences, one can conclude that countries in the developed world have war against each other, while in the developing countries, countries fight within themselves.
War is a destroyer. It slows down growth and development in the world, and has a major impact on the global economy. There are severe costs of failing to build peace in war-tone regions. When parties in conflict fail to come to terms with each other, then the war that follows unleashes a lot of violence, more than when such a conflict ensued. This is what leads to high rates of displacement, damaged infrastructure, and weakened institutions, where diseases, crime, and terrorism become common foul.
Scholars and researchers have suggested ways of bring peace back to warring parties in the world. However, any peacebuilding activity has to start from efforts to find the root cause of the war. Such an effort needs to have an intermediary who serves as a communication bridge between the warring parties. Once issues from the two parties are laid on the table, then an amicable solution that does not involve violence is sought.
Country leaders should also be held responsible for what happens in their countries. This means decent governance would be a good way to ensure that there is no renewed warfare. With good governance, there are high chances that peacebuilding efforts will be successful. Again, able authorities can steer activities that would enforce peaceful relations within a country, and among countries. Such activities include setting up business agreements. It is unlikely that partners in business will be involved in war.
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