LONDON, 29-Apr-2021 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — Supply chains worldwide have experienced some level of turbulence in the last 18 month. The pandemic continues to cause disruption, as well as other events such as the obstruction of the Suez Canal in March.
The countless obstacles encountered have been coupled by innovative development and novel means of working in all phases of the supply chain. Digital manufacturing, as a solution to mitigate supply chain risk, is being increasingly implemented by companies globally.
Many companies are looking at ways to improve their supply chain flexibility, here is what we recommend to increase agility.
1. Expect the unexpected
Being prepared for unforeseen situations will stand you in good stead should they occur. It is not uncommon for things to not go to plan. To combat this, planning is key, you know your business better than anyone else, and it will ensure your supply chain will continue working smoothly.
In order to plan ahead effectively, it is important to communicate often and in detail with suppliers. We need to adopt a proactive approach to supply chain, and consider likely future trends and market direction to make preparations for them. As the market and businesses alike are fluctuating at speed, interruptions are also going to keep happening, and likely more often.
2. Stock a little more than you need
Whilst being lean, reducing waste, and being as productive as possible is the aim, one should be conscious to not be too lean. It is beneficial to stock a little more than you need, to account for any eventuality. Having that extra material can still be lean, customers know they can repeat orders rapidly, they can rely on Haizol to produce at speed, and have adaptations to the design put in place which can reduce lifecycle cost.
3. Stay connected to the engineers on the ground
Technology has meant that we can acquire large amounts of data from machines, however having a close relationship to the actual machine operators and factory floor can prove invaluable. It is irreplaceable to be on the ground with the actual machine, to see what is happening, and help to solve the issue. Based on this, it is beneficial to ensure there is someone in manufacturing bases all the way through the supply chain. In this regard, relationships are crucial, supplier engineers are able to find problems that were not apparent to begin with, and they can report this information and adapt the plan when required.
4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Ensuring you don’t rely solely on a single-source supply will help in building a more flexible supply chain. Having more options will mean less of a risk that material will be unobtainable. Keeping your options open means if stock does run short will your supplier you can source from another supplier with ease. Using a manufacturer like Haizol, who partner with over 200,000 factories across Asia, mean risk is mitigated.