A Fresh Look at Latin America

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A Fresh Look at Latin America The Greatest Supply Chain Challenges and Opportunities for Companies Operating in Latin America May Surprise You

By Antonio Boccalandro, JDA Software's group vice president, Latin America.

There is no doubt that Latin America holds enormous promise for manufacturers across a wide variety

of industries that are looking to expand their supply chain depth and breadth. As they look beyond their previous offshore sourcing models, which focused heavily on the Asia-Pacific region, they are finding

fertile and profitable ground in Mexico, Central America and South America.

Perhaps nowhere is this trend more visible than in the automotive industry, with Toyota, Honda,

Volkswagen and Nissan among the companies recently investing in large Mexican production facilities. In fact, industry experts anticipate Mexico's auto output to hit a record 2.86 million vehicles when the

2012 figures are tallied, making Mexico the eighth-largest automotive producer worldwide. Further, this trend is expected to continue, with analysts predicting 34 percent growth in Mexican auto production by


The growing popularity of Latin America as a supply chain partner makes sense, given the region's close

proximity to large North American markets, its rich natural resources, attractive labor costs, liberal trade policies, and companies' reputations for delivering high-quality products quickly and reliably.

While this growth is creating excitement among the region's executives, it is also presenting them with new challenges. Today, there is special pressure on Latin American businesses to adopt leading-edge

supply chain practices and tools in order to collaborate with their new global partners, compete successfully in international markets and increase profitability.

While the needs of every company are different, in general Latin American businesses are seeking supply chain improvements in the areas of demand, inventory replenishment, transportation, and sales

and operations planning (S&OP). Retailers add category and space management to...