AND NOW SOME OPERATIONS NEWS
Will the Pandemic force more Manufacturing Innovation?
Manufacturing has always been a slow moving and conservative industry. The global Pandemic has created a new environment with major supply chain disruptions, social distancing at assembly lines and highly limited travel to resolve supplier problems which will force the manufacturing sector to innovate at a much faster pace.
Problem#1 Supply Chain Challenges
likely more than once in the next 18-24 months,
components, competition for
, labor shortages, new
regulations & changing tariffs
, production quality issues,
are just a few of the challenges. Now multiply this for hundreds, sometimes thousands of parts/suppliers and you understand why your
supply chain teams have their hands full.
Most startups and smaller companies can't invest in
highly distributed/parallel, multisource
supply chains and are therefore dramatically more impacted by disruption than larger companies like Apple or Ford.
Many small companies and
just now started looking
at second or parallel sourcing for the first time.
new or refreshing old (often global) supplier relationships
and understanding supplier specific differences
during this pandemic
adds a lot of time and risk,
resulting in assembly/product failures, further delays, miscommunication, etc.
better Supply Chain strategies
and back-up processes that can quickly be executed will become essential to
Problem #2 Safe Manufacturing environment
Many manufacturing and assembly lines that use
are tightly spaced for efficiency,
typically ~2ft apart
Increasing this to
WHO / CDC standards (6ft.)
adds significant space requirements (if available!) and therefore additional cost. Adding the appropriate
might potentially reduces finger dexterity which can lead to slower assembly cycles and quality problems.
While Automation might be a potential option, it's somewhat unrealistic if you have fast product cycles that ramp up and down in a matter of weeks.
Problem #3 Limited Face to Face interaction
to contract manufacturers and suppliers for the necessary
develop mature products and processes,
critical product launch periods
restricted for the next 18-24 months
This will significantly impact solving the typical engineering problems and understanding the visceral challenges why something is difficult to assemble to achieve stable and reliable production process.
from the supplier or factory provide some insights but it only offers
from a snap shot in time and might be
skewed due to misaligned incentives
leading to mistrust and additional problems.
Having to launch products remotely will have most companies, smaller or large,
eyes on their lines
realtime, aggregated data
from their suppliers, a
without the right technology, associated infrastructure cost and likely newly required labor skills.
experienced teams at NPA
can assist you in this transition and develop
specific solutions for your company
reduce risk and cost
while increasing your operational performance. If you want to learn more about this topic,