“To quickly respond to new market trends and customer demands in time to win market share, manufacturing organizations also need an agile, flexible and resilient supply network”, said Supply Chain Expert, Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc.


Manufacturers have known for years that they needed to become agile, innovative and resilient to risk, but progress toward these goals has been slow and cautious. The pandemic forced rapid shifts, however, and digital technologies – especially virtualization to enable quick insights and informed decision-making – are finally making manufacturing resilience a reality.

Digital transformation has long been touted as the magic formula for manufacturers that want to optimize operations, increase cost-effectiveness, boost efficiency and productivity, accelerate speed to market and build a sustainable, risk-resilient business. However, while most manufacturers have experimented with new technologies over the past decade, few have implemented the core data management platforms, smart equipment, internet of things architecture and connected systems at the scale required to achieve measurable success.

The high cost of delay became instantly clear when the global COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, disrupting supply chains, stopping shipments in their tracks, locking workforces in their homes and forcing manufacturers to adjust their existing processes to meet fluctuating product demand and profound shifts in consumer behavior.

With that experience, and facing the prospect of long- and short-term financial, environmental and other factors threatening to further disrupt how they do business in the future, long-delayed transformation pilots are beginning to take hold at an enterprise level – and their focus does not stop at digital, but extends all the way to virtual experience.

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