Lessons learned

Fusion Worldwide’s President, Tobey Gonnerman

Fusion Worldwide’s President, Tobey Gonnerman, offers lessons for future-proofing the supply chain.

COVID-19 challenged the global supply chain but has offered a few lessons we can take note of to future-proof our manufacturing, packaging and distribution processes moving forward. These lessons include globalization, strategic partnerships and diversifying your AVL.

While consolidating all manufacturing to one geographic location may have worked in the past, the pandemic has revealed how vulnerable this can leave companies. We especially saw this with the COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia, where many of the largest factories consuming components are located. By spreading the risk, rather than consolidating in one location, you’re less susceptible to major impacts from manufacturing disruption.

Having trusted partners to help fill shortages when product is scarce is imperative to keep the manufacturing lines running. Scrambling to find product without the help of qualified distribution partners can be scary, risky, time-consuming, and often futile. When you’re at the risk of shortages and the high over-cost of parts, it’s the global competence, supply assurance and quality-check initiatives qualified vendor partners provide that will get you what you need. 

Designing in just a single component manufacturer’s product where alternate manufacturers exist can be a risky approach. It can leave you at a disadvantage when extreme shortages abound. To avoid having to go back to the drawing board and consider a product re-design, a diverse AVL will provide a buffer for supply chain shocks.

The journey back to more a normalized market will certainly come with continued surprises, stresses and uncertainty. Applying the lessons and enhanced supply chain strategies learned along the way can help companies cope with whatever’s next – inevitably additional shocks that will occur while the shifting scales continue to move.