Keren Obara. Master of Science. Project Officer FCL

The CEO/ Manager’s Guide to Navigating International Business. With examples of Dell Tech and Colgate Palm-Olive.

Navigating the world of international business can be both challenging and rewarding. Here are some key considerations and tips to help you succeed, with examples of Dell Technologies and Colgate Palm Olive.

Market Research via Advanced statistic tools and AI to implement informed decision making: A CEO/ Manager of an international firm must carry out thorough research on the niche targeted, including its economic and political stability, cultural nuances, consumer behaviour, competition, and legal requirements. One example of a company that does this perfectly is Colgate Palm Olive. With it’s Data-Driven Approach: Colgate-Palmolive emphasizes the use of data (collected through research), to drive decision-making. This data is then used by regional managers in various countries to gain insights and inform strategic decisions across various departments and functions.

Strategic Planning and Managerial Methods: A comprehensive business plan that outlines regional/ multinational objectives, strategies, company values, target markets, competitive advantage, and marketing strategies, financial projections, and risk assessment. This serves as a roadmap for international business activities.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

Working closely with legal firms is important in managing firms at a multinational level. Understand the legal and regulatory requirements of the countries you wish to operate in. This includes business registration, taxation, intellectual property protection, employment laws, and any industry-specific regulations.

Partnerships and Networks: Build strong relationships with local partners, distributors, suppliers, and other key stakeholders who can provide valuable insights and support. Networking through trade associations, chambers of commerce, and industry events can help you establish contacts and expand your reach.

Cultural Awareness: CEOs and Managers must make it a priority to adapt the cultural norms and practices of their target market. For example, Colgate-Palmolive implements a culture of continuous learning and improvement. The company invests in employee training and development programs to enhance analytical and decision-making skills.

Proper Financial Management: Understanding the currency exchange rates across multi-National operations is important. International payment methods, and potential financial risks associated with operating in foreign markets. Develop a sound financial management strategy, including budgeting, cash flow management, and risk mitigation.

Logistics and Supply Chain: Establish efficient logistics and supply chain management processes to ensure timely delivery of goods and services. Consider factors like transportation, shipping, warehousing, customs regulations, and any specific logistical challenges in the target market.

Marketing and Localization: Adapt your marketing and communication strategies to suit the local market. This includes translating your marketing materials, tailoring your messaging to local preferences, and leveraging digital marketing channels and social media platforms used by the target audience.

Risk Management: Identify and assess potential risks such as political instability, economic fluctuations, legal disputes, and natural disasters. These risks can show up in the supply chain, in the financial workings of a firm, or in the simple day to day operations. Develop contingency plans and consider obtaining insurance coverage to mitigate these risks.

Commitment to Learning and Adaptation: The international business landscape is dynamic, ever moving and ever evolving. Staying informed about global trends, industry developments, and changes in regulations keeps one on the upper hand. Continuously adapting to strategies, learning from experiences, and seeking feedback as well, improve the operations of a global business.

Dell Technologies Approach: The supply chain is the core of multinational businesses. In this article. We analyze dell’s business process. We shall begin with the company’s supply chain strategy.

A high variety of products is Dell’s strong point, as they have a wide product and services portfolio that they regularly offer to clients when it comes to both newer and older products. Variation in demand is quite high due to an abundant pull for tech products such as laptops and IT services/ solutions. The visibility of dell is high as well, as the products are found on numerous e-commerce websites.

Instead of a regional structure, a global structure is implemented with a focus on public, consumer/small business, plus enterprise[1]. Dell specializes in standardized offers to the customers in the most frequently purchased configurations. Installing infrastructure that aligns and evolves with the changing needs of the business. Flexible processes, leveraging global partnerships that prioritize customer priorities, aligning speed, cost, and choice, and optimizing IT infrastructures for a faster and more efficient business process.

Specific needs of customers are catered for with configurable/ preconfigured products, and value speed of finished goods that are purchased through the official Dell website or directly. How does this meet customer needs? Via this model, the company accesses customer needs, and studies the data directly, through an efficient ERP system to implement forecasted products and services according to consumer interests and preferences.

The keen watching of emerging trends in all areas of management, such as supply chain, logistics, operations, finance, management analytics, statistics, and human resource is a vital aspect for CEO’s/ managers of global businesses.

Building a successful international business takes time, intention, diligence, patience, and persistence. It is important to surround oneself with a team of knowledgeable professionals and seek expert advice when needed. Networking within events such as rotary and corporate dinners is also well advised. One can also try social networking through sights such as LinkedIn.


Written by Keren Obara.

BA (Marketing); MSc (Management).