Now is the time to shock-proof supply chains, with a three-pronged approach
Car dealership lots are emptying out due to the semiconductor supply crunch. Container ships are backed up in major ports in Europe, China, and the United States. A dire labor shortage is adding to the difficulty of producing and transporting enough goods to meet surging U.S. demand.
The problems are a loud wake-up call for manufacturers that the old ways of managing supply chains are no longer adequate. The COVID-19 economic disruption has brutally exposed the shortcomings of relying solely on the dominant just-in-time system. JIT keeps inventory levels razor thin and assumes that breaks in critical supply can be readily fixed with some additional time and attention.
Now’s the time for companies to take steps to shock-proof their supply chains for what could be a new normal of disruptions in the years ahead. This requires a sophisticated, multipronged approach.