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International expansion has been focused on the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These developing nations provide plenty of advantages to companies looking to grow, such as increased demand for new kinds of goods, less competition, and diversification. According to a recent survey by Accenture, Supply Chain Success Factors in Emerging Markets: Accenture Global Operations Megatrends Study, 95% of respondents have experienced growth from emerging markets in the past three years.

For companies that want to remain competitive, the emerging markets offer a great amount of opportunity—a $30 trillion opportunity to be exact, according to a separate study from Gartner. Although the rewards may be significant, choosing to operate in an emerging market should not be taken lightly as there’s a high level of risk involved. These risks can include:

  • Political Instability: Adverse political decisions could put your supply chain at risk
  • Increase in Natural Disasters: The BRIC countries have their own weather-related events, which could disrupt supply chain flow
  • Unclear Regulations: It can be difficult to comprehend the exact requirements for operating within a country or region

  • Once you understand the differences in supply chain management and operational risks in each country and region you plan to enter, the best and most efficient way to address challenges is through – you guessed it – technology.

    Findings from the Accenture study reveal that supply chain leaders are more than twice as likely as others to make extensive use of technology to help manage the increased complexity and volatility that comes with dealing with global operations. Despite the benefits technology offers, however, nearly one in 10 global companies only use a limited amount of technology to manage their supply chains, with most work being conducted manually.

    But things get lost in translation. Given the complex interconnectedness of global supply chains, organizations must move away from manual processes and consider investing in a solution that uses predictive analytics to help keep abreast of potential supply chain disruptions driven by political, economic, or environmental instability. Dun & Bradstreet’s Country Risk Module provides Country Risk Ratings and comprehensive political and economic analysis for over 130 countries. With the solution, supply management leaders can:

  • View country risk exposure levels clearly highlighted on interactive global maps
  • Assess supplier risk exposure by country with supply base views and supplier details
  • Identify risks associated with conducting commerce in specific regions
  • As incomes increase and economic prosperity grows across the emerging countries, the more organizations will look to expand. By adopting tools and applications that use predictive analytics, businesses become much-better-positioned to evaluate and determine which global markets to avoid and which to explore for competitive advantage.