Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people

STeve Jobs

It’s an oft-repeated cliché but people do make a business. This is especially the case with export or internationalisation where the right operating structure and team line up determines success or failure.

I once worked on a project where the packaging was printed in Germany, the product was made in Australia and the goods were sold in Japan. The product was price competitive, ultimately performed very strongly and made the complexity worthwhile, but required multi-function and multi-country coordination.

It also required senior leadership and expertise. One of the reasons this project worked was the German packaging supplier had extensive logistical expertise that made life a lot easier. Logistics and supply chain management is a key skill and capability that defines many successful exporters. It is not the responsibility of any one department or person, but is cross functional ranging from ingredient and packaging sourcing, purchasing, manufacturing, warehousing, finance, sales and end customers.

What should your export team look like?

In this lesson I’ll take you through several different export organisational structures and the key roles and responsibilities of the team members.