Alvarez & Marsal announced on Monday (May 29) that Richard Ellert, a global supply-chain expert, has joined the firm as director and head of Alvarez & Marsal Asia Limited's Supply Chain Services. He is based in Hong Kong.

As an increasing number of companies seek to re-evaluate their global supply chain strategies, particularly with respect to doing business in Asia, Ellert brings more than two decades of hands-on operational experience in developing and implementing manufacturing-process improvement, cost implementation and sourcing strategies in cross-border situations.

ôOver the past several years, companies seeking lower production costs have flocked in droves to do business in China,ö says Ellert. ôFor some companies, that has been the right decision, but others have not sufficiently considered the full supply-chain implications of such a move and, in some cases, sacrificed profitability for the sake of market share.

ôNow, late in the game, many global businesses are realising they should have considered more variables before moving operations to China,ö he adds. ôIn some cases, companies failed to explore all options for doing business from a cost and operations point-of-view and wrongly chose to work through agents, while in other cases, they should have just stayed domestic or chosen a different part of the world, such as Mexico, altogether.ö

Alvarez & Marsal's supply-chain services department helps clients develop and manage their supply-chain portfolio - from strategy, procurement of materials and services, logistics and distribution, to security issues, corporate-social responsibility and customer service.

ôRichardÆs extensive background in the consumer goods industry and expertise in supply chain integration and international sourcing make him an outstanding fit for Alvarez & Marsal, which has a long track record of improving the performance of both healthy and distressed organisations,ö says Neill Poole, managing director with Alvarez & Marsal Asia. ôHe knows the Asian marketplace; he understands the importance of approaching supply chain through a global lens and he knows how to help companies mitigate risks and reach a solution that best meets their bottom line business needs.ö

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Ellert was an executive vice president, supply chain and managing director (Asia) with a leading European toy manufacturer listed on the German Stock Exchange. Previously, he served as a senior vice president for the world's largest apparel manufacturer. Earlier in his career, Ellert was director of technical operations for the sourcing arm of the largest apparel retail group in the US. He also served as country manager in Egypt, where he was involved in strategic sourcing initiatives in the Sub-Sahara region of Africa following the passage of the African Growth Opportunity Act by the US Congress in 1999.