Some might argue that a country reaches the top of the global sourcing hype cycle when it becomes a standard presentation topic at just about any procurement or supply chain event. But I'd say the real test about whether or not a country is truly "in" -- or on its way out, as the case may be -- is when a story about it graces the pages of a local business publication. A few weeks back, Crains Chicago featured just such a story on the growth in Vietnamese sourcing. Titled "Is Vietnam the Next China" the piece suggests that "the attraction of Vietnam is obvious. Aside from abundant cheap labor, there is the rapidly improving infrastructure -- roads, rails and harbors -- necessary for moving product in, out and around the country." Hmmm ... let me get that straight -- it's easy to move goods in and out of the country? Maybe if you're the Chinese and you can go overland -- or if you don't mind having your container stopover in Shanghai or Singapore as it makes its way onto a larger container ship. But not for everyone else! I love how the local business press can sometimes paint such a one-sided picture without investigating the full story.
- Jason Busch