Tag Archive: coronavirus

What’s Going On with Asia Supply Chains

June 25th, 2020

 

Supply chains are quite tenuous, and China drives the most volume:

  1. Coronavirus: Beijing is under a soft lockdown with a surge of virus cases. Although Beijing doesn’t impact trade, it is another sign that China vastly under reported previously and it is likely to have a new surge of coronavirus and plant closures.
  2. Manufacturers in China: Small and medium size manufacturers are not doing well. They are struggling to keep up since they had to continue paying people even when they weren’t producing. Are you watching your quality and cash?
  3. Vietnam: so far, they are faring pretty well and companies that moved prior to coronavirus and quite happy with service; if they hadn’t yet moved prior to coronavirus, it is likely on hold due to the disruption.
  4. Global transportation: Volume has picked up at all 3 ports in China (although they are dealing with a short-lived vessel shortage) and we aren’t seeing goods movement issues.

International rates are rising: they are up a hefty 12% from Asia to Northern Europe & 32% on the Transpacific route. They have taken capacity out and are slow to add it back. We’ll have to stay tuned to see what will happen.

 

 

Are you taking the continued disruption into account in your supply chain plans?

 

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Undoubtedly, you should be thinking about how to proactively manage your global footprint:

  1. Re-evaluate your sourcing strategy: as many are already doing, the least you should do is re-evaluate your sourcing strategy. Generally speaking, the total landed cost for non-commodity products is less expensive in the U.S. than in China. Check your total cost and review multiple sourcing alternatives.
  2. Review your customers’ needs: Undoubtedly, consumer and business buying behaviors are changing during these unprecedented times. What is happening with your customer base? What can you do to get in front of the changes and see opportunities for expansion?
  3. Review your customers’ requirements: Understanding where your customers are located is a good start. It can have a profound impact on your supply chain, where you should produce and how you should set up your supply chain infrastructure. In addition, what expectations do they have? Are they expecting immediate delivery? Are their preferences changing to deliver at home? These questions will have a profound impact on your supply chain setup.
  4. Understand your transportation options: Clearly, understanding the speed, cost and effectiveness of your transportation options will be integral to your supply chain infrastructure.
  5. Understand likely disruption: Do a risk assessment to understand the likely disruption and risk associated with your options. You certainly have a different situation in China vs. Europe vs. Brazil.

Read more about this topic as well as your strategy, priorities, key trends, and your restart recipe for success in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19 . If you are interested in a rapid assessment, please contact us.



Being Featured on Bloomberg & the Rise of Reshoring

June 3rd, 2020

Of course, it was very exciting to be featured on Bloomberg’s ‘What’d You Miss?’ show! It speaks to the rising popularity of reshoring that Bloomberg is searching for supply chain experts to talk about reshoring and whether it makes sense.

NOTE: I am about half-way through the segment if you’d like to watch the show.

As I said on Bloomberg, of course, the answer of whether you should reshore is “it depends”; however, it is becoming quite attractive for many industries and situations. At a minimum, review whether it makes sense to source manufacturing closer to your end customers. If you need a push, look no further than the Amazon-like customer requirements, increasing labor costs in China, the lessening importance of labor costs as the Future in Manufacturing panel discussed, the risk of disruption (tariffs, COVID-19, natural disasters etc.) and more. I discuss this topic in depth in my eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19.

 We have also launched a rapid Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain assessment if you’d like assistance in evaluating for your particular situation. Contact us if you are interested. Stay safe and healthy. We continue to post coronavirus resources, write blog articles on navigating coronavirus as well as “beyond lockdown” strategies, and we are sponsoring APICS Inland Empire‘s “Navigating Through Volatility” webinar series. Join us and learn more here



The Future of Manufacturing

May 30th, 2020

 

I was on a panel of a webinar, The Future of Manufacturing with Andrew Zanelli, president of VCC, Michael Knight, president TTI Semiconductor Group, and Seth Denson, co-founder of GDP Advisors. It was a lot of fun, and we talked about the coronavirus, reshoring, cost leadership, innovation, and other topics. Are you interested in what the future might look like and how you can position your company and career successfully?                                         

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

There is no doubt there is a renewed interest in reshoring and sourcing manufacturing closer to the customer. All panelists agreed that labor cost has reduced significantly in terms of relevant factors to consider in evaluating manufacturing and supply chain strategy.

  1. China’s labor costs have continually risen, leading progressive companies to move to Vietnam and other Asian countries to chase lower labor costs if labor is a significant factor in total cost of their products. Mexico is gaining steam as well as the latest statistics show their fully burdened labor costs are often lower than China.
  2. Advances in technology have reduced the labor component in the total cost of products, sped up the turnaround time and enabled greater customization on demand. Robotics, additive manufacturing, automated equipment, autonomous vehicles are just a few of the advances.
  3. The time component is increasing in importance in today’s environment where Amazon-like customer service is the norm. Lengthy lead times will lead to a loss in customer demand.
  4. Although cash is always king, during the pandemic, it has risen in importance. Product tied up in the supply chain which is typically 3 months minimum for Asian supply to the U.S. equates to dollars tied up that cannot be invested elsewhere.
  5. There is a higher likelihood of disruption the further away production is from customer demand and the more steps to the supply chain (such as ports, trucks, sailing through unfriendly waters).

Whatever was true last quarter or last month is no longer true. Continually reevaluate your end-to-end supply chain requirements. I’ve addressed this topic as well as your strategy, priorities, key trends, and your restart recipe for success in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. If you are interested in a rapid assessment, please contact us.

 



Quoted in Direct Relief About When Supply Chain and Human Behavior Converge

April 23rd, 2020

I talked with the Direct Relief about the global supply chain during the pandemic. We discussed the issues of hoarding, the impacts on the global supply chain and what could be done to realign the supply chain so that consumers had what they needed where they needed it when they needed it. Of course, the question also goes back to the word ‘need’ and how to proactively manage panic buying as well as quickly ramp up the supply chain to respond. I am excited to be quoted in their article “Global Supply Chains and Human Behavior Converge During COVID-19 Pandemic”. Read the article here.

For additional coronavirus information, resources and strategies, please visit the coronavirus resources section of our website.

 



The Economy & Where It Is Headed

April 20th, 2020

Since I dressed up for my webinar with Eileen Angulo on “Navigating Coronavirus Impact with our Employees,” it seemed a great time to do a quick video for I’ve Been Thinking on the economy and where we go from here. 

One Tip to Implement This Week:As I said in the video, consider how you can help. Turn your focus from panic and worry to creativity and innovation. Focusing on innovation is the best path forward if we’d like to turn our situations toward the positive, and it is certainly is what will turn the U.S. towards a positive future. Anyone can innovate. Perhaps we aren’t all as skilled as MacGyver in utilizing pencils and paper clips but we each have unique talents and capabilities. Spend an hour focused on innovation and let me know how it goes. To learn more about innovation,

Stay safe and healthy. We continue to post coronavirus resources, write blog articles on navigating coronavirus as well as “beyond lockdown” strategies, and we are sponsoring APICS Inland Empire‘s “Navigating Through Volatility” webinar series. Join us and learn more here. As an executive director of SAC, we are also hosting a “Thriving Through Ambiguity” webinar series with a nominal fee for non-SAC members. Let us know if you have topics you’d like addressed. We would love your feedback.