HONG KONG – A supply chain links producers and consumers through a complex web of outsourcing contracts, with market leaders in any product category orchestrating activities to produce components profitably along its entire length. For example, an iPad is designed in California – with chips from Japan and parts from South Korea, Taiwan, and elsewhere – and finally assembled in China for global distribution. But the ecology of supply chains is not as straightforward as this depiction suggests.
Most studies of supply chains examine their operations, but take for granted governments’ critical enabling role. Because the non-delivery of government services would inhibit the proper functioning of business supply chains, understanding how the government-services supply chain works is vital.