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Evaluating the Total Cost Value Proposition of Sourcing Heavy Machinery From a Low-Cost China Country


In the modern, worldwide economy, businesses frequently look for ways to source goods from nations with cheap costs to increase their profitability and competitiveness. This task intends to provide a total cost value proposition to assess the possibility of continuing to get heavy equipment from China, a low-cost nation. One may determine the primary trade-offs of local sourcing against sourcing from a low-cost country by assessing numerous cost components, including material, manufacture, shipping, packaging, inventory, handling, damage, risk, and security (Fonseca & Azevedo, 2020). The future direction of each cost component and the possibility of continuing low-cost nation sourcing will also be revealed by a review of the existing environment and trends over the next five years.

Cost Components and Trade-offs

Material Cost

Material cost is a critical factor in various diligences. When considering material sourcing, trade-offs involve quality control, availability, and pricing considerations. Local sourcing offers better quality control and quicker response to changes but potentially advanced material costs. On the other hand, low-cost country sourcing provides lower material costs and availability of technical materials but may pose challenges in quality control (Handfield, Sun & Rothenberg, 2020). The future direction aims for stable pricing, bettered quality control, and enhanced availability in low-cost countries. Striking the right balance between these factors is crucial for businesses to optimise their material procurement strategies and maintain a competitive edge.

Manufacturing Cost

The cost of manufacturing is a crucial factor in the production process. There are trade-offs between labour costs, manufacturing effectiveness, and intellectual property (IP) worries. Local sourcing has more significant labour expenses but is simpler to safeguard intellectual property, yet it may need help with efficiency and scalability. Conversely, sourcing from low-cost nations might result in cheaper labour costs and potential increases in manufacturing efficiency, although IP protection may present difficulties (Luo et al., 2021). The future trajectory is toward greater automation, which can reduce labour costs in low-cost nations while producing efficiency benefits. Automation becomes increasingly important as technology develops to optimise production costs and achieve global market competitiveness.

Transportation Cost

Transportation cost plays a significant role in supply chain management. Trade-offs arise regarding lead time, freight costs, and environmental impact. Due to reduced travel distances, local sourcing offers shorter lead times, potentially advanced freight costs, and lower environmental impact. Again, low-cost country sourcing involves longer lead times and potentially lower freight costs but progressive ecological impact due to increased transportation distances (Rissman et al., 2020). The future direction of transportation cost management includes advancements in shipping technologies, which may lead to reduced freight costs, and a growing emphasis on sustainability, aiming to minimise the environmental impact of transportation. Striking a balance between these factors is crucial for optimising transportation costs and achieving sustainable supply chain practices.

Packaging Cost

The cost of packaging is a significant factor in producing and distributing goods. Costs of packing materials, possibilities for customisation, and logistical effectiveness can all be traded off. Local sourcing often entails higher packaging material prices but provides customisable options and more effective logistics. On the other side, buying from low-cost nations results in lower costs for packaging materials but may restrict customisation possibilities and provide significant logistical difficulties (Fonseca & Azevedo, 2020). The adoption of creative packaging solutions that achieve a balance between cost-efficiency and personalisation is the future path of packaging cost management. Additionally, minimising packing costs and ensuring on-time client delivery depend greatly on enhancing logistical efficiency.

Inventory Cost

Inventory cost is a critical aspect of supply chain operation. It involves trade-offs between inventory holding costs, demand forecasting delicacy, and the threat of stockouts. Local sourcing generally leads to lower inventory holding costs, better demand forecasting due to proximity, and potential stockouts due to limited availability. Again, low-cost country sourcing may affect advanced inventory holding costs and challenges in demand soothsaying but reduced stockouts due to larger supply volumes (Handfield, Sun & Rothenberg, 2020). The future direction of inventory cost operation focuses on bettered demand forecasting methodologies, effective inventory operation systems, and minimising stockouts to ensure optimal inventory situations and enhance client satisfaction.

Handling, Damage, and Risk Cost

Costs associated with handling, damage, and dangers are essential aspects of supply chain operations. Trade-offs exist concerning supply chain hazards, damage rates, and handling effectiveness. Because of closeness, local sourcing can increase bearing significance, have fewer supply chain risks, and lower damage rates. Low-cost nation sourcing, however, might be challenging to manage because of more significant supply chain risks, longer distances, and perhaps higher damage rates (Rissman et al., 2020). Initiatives to lower damage rates through improved packing and transit methods are also part of the future directions for cost control in these sectors. By addressing these factors, companies may reduce costs and improve overall supply chain efficiency.

Security Cost

Security cost is a critical consideration in supply chain operations. Trade-offs arise concerning intellectual property protection, counterfeiting risks, and cybersecurity. Local sourcing offers more accessible intellectual property protection and reduced counterfeiting risks but may face implicit cybersecurity challenges. Again, low-cost country sourcing poses challenges in intellectual property protection and increased counterfeiting risks but potentially provides cybersecurity advantages (Salisu, Gao & Quan, 2021). The future direction of security cost operation involves strengthening intellectual property protection, enforcing enhanced cybersecurity measures, and espousing strategies to help counterfeit. By prioritising these aspects, businesses can guard their means, cover against cyber threats, and maintain the integrity of their supply chains.

Global LPI Evaluation

The team will gain the Global Logistics Performance Index (LPI) score to evaluate the country’s logistics performance in question. The LPI, handed by the World Bank, assesses countries’ logistics performance based on six crucial dimensions customs, structure, global shipments, logistics quality and capability, tracking and tracing, and punctuality. Upon carrying the LPI score for the country, the team can identify areas where advancements could be made to enhance its logistics performance (Rissman et al., 2020). Possible locations for enhancement include streamlining customs processes, investing in structure development, perfecting the effectiveness of international shipments, enhancing logistics quality and capability through training and skill development, enforcing effective tracking and tracing systems, and reducing delivery delays to improve timeliness.

Also, the team will dissect the crucial trends of the five countries with the highest LPI scores to understand the factors contributing to their high rankings. These countries have likely demonstrated excellence in areas similar to effective customs procedures, robust structure networks, advanced technology integration, professed logistics professionals, and dependable transport systems (Salisu, Gao & Quan, 2021). Their proactive approach to addressing logistics challenges and enforcing best practices has made them leaders in the global logistics industry. Again, the team will also examine the crucial trends of the five countries with minor LPI scores.

These countries may need help in areas similar to complex customs procedures, inadequate structure, limited technological advancements, skill gaps in the logistics pool, and unreliable transportation networks. By relating these failings, the team can determine where improvements could be made to make these countries more competitive in the global logistics industry (Handfield, Sun & Rothenberg, 2020). Potential areas for enhancement in the countries with low LPI scores include simplifying customs procedures, investing in structure development systems, espousing advanced tracking and tracing technologies, providing training and education programs to enhance logistics capabilities, and enforcing measures to improve the reliability and effectiveness of transportation networks.

Developing a Supply Chain Strategy

As the recently appointed supply chain manager for a retailer with shops in Europe and sources of force in Asia, developing an effective supply chain strategy is crucial for optimising functional effectiveness, reducing costs, and enhancing client satisfaction. A step-by-step process can be used to negotiate this. The first step is to assess the current supply chain network thoroughly. This involves evaluating transportation routes, inventory operation practices, supplier connections, and client demand patterns (Rissman et al., 2020). A clear understanding of the supply chain can be gained by relating strengths, weaknesses, backups, and areas for enhancement.

Once the assessment is complete, the step is to set clear objectives aligned with the company’s overall business plans. These objectives could include reducing lead times, perfecting on-time delivery, optimising inventory situations, or enhancing supply chain visibility (Salisu, Gao & Quan, 2021). Defining these objectives provides a clear direction for the supply chain strategy. One crucial aspect of the plan is to optimise supplier connections. Strengthening partnerships with suppliers in Asia through open communication, collaboration, and trust is essential. Enforcing supplier performance evaluation criteria, negotiating favourable terms, and exploring opportunities for strategic sourcing and supplier connection can contribute to perfecting the supply chain’s effectiveness.

Using technology is another crucial step in developing an effective supply chain strategy. Enforcing advanced supply chain management systems, transportation operation software, and demand forecasting tools can enhance visibility, streamline processes, and facilitate decision-making. Real-time tracking, process robotisation, and optimised force situations can be achieved through these technological results. Developing an effective transportation network is also vital (Luo et al., 2021). Assessing transportation options and opting for the most cost-effective and dependable modes of transport for each leg of the supply chain is crucial. Options similar to ocean freight, air freight, rail, or a combination of methods should be explored. Building partnerships with dependable logistics providers ensure timely and effective delivery.

Optimising inventory operation is another critical aspect. Implementing effective practices like- by time (JIT) inventory, safety stock optimisation, and demand-driven loss helps balance stock situations and client demand. Exercising inventory visibility tools to track inventory across the supply chain identifies opportunities for optimisation. Demand forecasting significantly aligns inventory situations, product schedules, and transportation plans (Salisu, Gao & Quan, 2021). Utilising demand soothsaying tools and uniting with deals and marketing teams for market insights and historical data can improve forecast accuracy.

Supply chain visibility is crucial for proactive decision-making, effective issue resolution, and better stakeholder collaboration. Implementing supply chain visibility results provides real-time insights into the movement of goods, inventory situations, and order status. Managing threat and adaptability is essential to the supply chain strategy (Rissman et al., 2020). Developing contingency plans, relating alternative suppliers, establishing backup inventory locations, and assessing external factors like geopolitical risks, natural disasters, or trade regulations are necessary to mitigate potential dislocations. Enforcing threat monitoring systems ensures early discovery and timely response.


In conclusion, creating a total cost value proposition for purchasing heavy equipment from China, a low-cost nation, requires considering various cost factors and trade-offs. In assessing the entire cost and competitiveness of the supply chain, factors such as material cost, production cost, transportation cost, packaging cost, inventory cost, handling, damage, risk cost, and security cost are significant (Luo et al., 2021). For cost optimisation and gaining a competitive edge, juggling aspects including quality control, labour costs, lead times, packaging material prices, inventory holding costs, handling effectiveness, intellectual property protection, and cyber security is essential.

Besides, assessing the coordinated factors execution of the country through the Worldwide Operations Execution Record (LPI) gives experiences into areas of progress and best practices. Examining patterns in nations with high LPI scores and recognising deficiencies in countries with low scores distinguishes systems for upgrading operations abilities and seriousness. A bit-by-bit approach is suggested to foster a robust production network procedure (Fonseca & Azevedo, 2020). This incorporates surveying the ongoing production network organisation, setting clear targets lined up with business objectives, improving provider connections, utilising innovation, fostering an effective transportation organisation, streamlining stock administration, upgrading store network deceivability, overseeing chance and versatility, laying out key execution pointers (KPIs), and encouraging coordinated effort and correspondence.


Fonseca, L. M., & Azevedo, A. L. (2020). COVID-19: outcomes for global supply chains. Management & Marketing. Challenges for the Knowledge Society15(s1), 424-438.

Handfield, R., Sun, H., & Rothenberg, L. (2020). Assessing supply chain risk for apparel production in low-cost countries using newsfeed analysis. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal25(6), 803-821.

Luo, Q., Huang, L., Xue, X., Chen, Z., Zhou, F., Wei, L., & Hua, J. (2021). Occupational health risk assessment based on dust exposure during earthwork construction. Journal of Building Engineering44, 103186.

Rissman, J., Bataille, C., Masanet, E., Aden, N., Morrow III, W. R., Zhou, N., … & Helseth, J. (2020). Technologies and policies to decarbonise global industry: Review and assessment of mitigation drivers through 2070. Applied Energy266, 114848.

Salisu, J., Gao, N., & Quan, C. (2021). Techno-economic assessment of co-gasification of rice husk and plastic waste as an off-grid power source for small-scale rice milling-an Aspen Plus model. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis158, 105157.


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