What COVID-19 Has Taught Manufacturers About Supply Chain Management

In the last few months, the manufacturing industry has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. From distribution disruptions to dwindling supplies and fluctuating demand, COVID-19 has revealed some of the biggest weaknesses in global supply chains. In response, many manufacturers are reconsidering their supply chains and making strategic adjustments to recover from COVID-related disruptions.

How COVID has affected supply chains

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold in the United States, consumers and manufacturers alike were faced with sudden and stark fluctuations to supply and demand for many different products. Perhaps the most notable product affected by COVID-related supply chain problems was toilet paper. Seemingly overnight, store shelves were laid bare by anxious consumers worried about a shortage of this essential item. Grocery stores struggled to keep toilet paper and other essential items on the shelves.

Manufacturing supply chains are built on thin margins and a complex, interconnected web of suppliers, distributors and manufacturers. Manufacturers around the world are considering how to strategically redevelop supply chains that can weather unexpected events in the future. There are a few key lessons that manufacturers have learned in the last several months:

Take a step back

In the midst of a crisis, it can be difficult for manufacturers to think strategically. While it’s not always easy to look at the big picture, getting some perspective is crucial as manufacturers move forward. Manufacturers should begin by carefully evaluating the structure and strategy of their supply chains prior to COVID-19, and then considering the way that this crisis has affected those supply chains.

Consider vulnerabilities

Most manufacturers have experienced disruptions and challenges in the last few months. One important step in the recovery process is to consider the vulnerabilities that COVID-19 has exposed. Focusing on the weaknesses that COVID-19 has exposed will give manufacturers a starting point to begin rebuilding and working strategically to redevelop disrupted supply chains.

Evaluate management and personnel

In times of crises, it’s essential for manufacturers to have personnel who are equipped to respond quickly, effectively and pragmatically. When manufacturers lack personnel with the skills to respond to emergencies, supply chains are more vulnerable to unexpected changes. Evaluate your current management structure and personnel to determine whether any changes are necessary. Some key changes to management structure and strategic hiring can go a long way when it comes to rebuilding and fortifying against future uncertainty.

Manufacturing and engineering services

As you work to rebuild your supply chains and begin moving into the new normal after COVID-19, surround yourself with resources to help you achieve your goals.

At KASO Plastics, we are committed to providing the best engineering and injection molding services to our clients. Contact us to find out more about our services and to learn how we can help your business.