The pandemic has increased the risk for every business, with many experiencing shocks in both supply and demand. Manufacturing facilities are experiencing the majority of this increased risk and uncertainty. As factories continue operating through the pandemic and beyond, how will businesses navigate these wider risks, specifically with an eye toward supply chain resilience?
The global pandemic has, to some degree, demonstrated potential obstacles with the global supply chain as it ran before March 2020. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, the majority of simpler PPEs such as masks, surgical gloves, etc., were built in low-cost production hubs such as Malaysia and China, while the U.S. and Germany, for example, specialized in relatively high-tech medical devices such as ventilators and defibrillators.
Going forward, effectively managing the supply chain is vital for manufacturers in all industries, including glass and fenestration, looking to save on costs while delivering products to customers when and how they want it.
In many industries, manufacturing companies are investing in technologies that touch every step of the process, including sales, purchasing, inventory, assembly, logistics, transportation and delivery. For example, adding barcodes to items allows companies to scan and track parts throughout the production process, which, in turn, helps companies quickly see where improvements can be made. Barcodes can help track deliveries and breakage, thus necessitating an immediate rebuild.
Logistics, in its simplest definition, can refer to just the transportation of goods to customers. In its more detailed version, it could refer to the entire supply chain network. However you define the word, logistics is strategic to the success of your business.
If you are having issues outside of your own manufacturing facility, how do you identify and remediate these disruptions? That is an issue requiring leaders within the company to develop potentially new sources of materials. Can your company source locally as a backup or even build necessary components in-house, such as fabricate your own glass, if you’re a window supplier? How will these decisions affect price, quality, quantity, etc.? You and your leadership team must weigh the cost/benefit scale to make the best decision for your company at that moment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to affect the global supply chain network and force companies to rethink every aspect of their businesses, including their supply chain. It is doubtful in the long-run that COVID-19 will disrupt supply-chain globalization, but in the short-run, some governments could deem essential items, such as glass, windows and doors, necessary for industries, including housing.
How can you and your colleagues prepare for and remediate these disruptions to meet customer demand without sacrificing quality or raising prices?