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Demand for complex products

Global distribution networks and supply chains are built around consumer products.

Many of today’s desired products are technically complex and consist of multiple components, sourced globally.

The phone in your pocket is a good example. It contains batteries made from rare earth metals and electronic components that have their own unique supply chain before they move to the assembly stage of the phone. These and other high technology products are desired by consumers the world over. The demand for their components and raw materials is also global.

Exploded illustration of a mobile phone

Even a less complex product, such as a bicycle is still manufactured from components sourced globally. There are fewer parts, but they still consist of sub-assemblies that require accurate and skilful manufacture.

Components of a bicycle - macrovector / Freepik

The complexity of modern consumer products means that the design of suitable and efficient global distribution networks is vital. They ensure that costs are kept down and movements are synchronised to meet customers expectations. This makes supply chains complex and interconnecting and can have far-reaching effects on logistics networks.

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This article is from the free online course:

Principles of Global Logistics Management

Coventry University