If the COVID-19 crisis has shown manufacturing anything, it’s that supply chains are ill-prepared to weather systemic shocks. In response, recent LNS Research survey data shows that manufacturers are taking a relatively reactionary approach to sustaining operations while simultaneously trying to reimagine what a resilient supply chain looks like.

Avoid Sub-optimized Silosdreamstime_l_93523746

Supply chain optimization theory identifies three, and only three, buffers that can be flexed to optimize a supply chain’s ability to deliver in the face of variability. They are:

  1. Inventory
  2. Lead time
  3. Capacity

Supply chain planners usually operate in the realm of setting safety stock inventory levels, locating distribution centers and logistic networks to ensure a competitive lead time, and building or contracting for sufficient manufacturing capacity. The companies that best build and optimize these buffers deliver a significant competitive advantage. In the face of normal or new normals, we can be much better prepared.

Fragile to Agile

In this Spotlight, LNS Research examines:

  • How manufacturing leaders’ performance impacts the broader performance of the supply chain
  • What Supply Chain planners are missing that affects lead time and capacity
  • How to utilize Industrial Transformation (IX) investments and maturity to improve alignment and collaboration between manufacturing and supply chain functions
  • What it takes to create more manufacturing agility, whether times of crisis or calm
  • How to create a cohesive strategy that effectively leverages reductions in inventory and lead time while increasing capacity

To learn more, download the full research report today.


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