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Small but big impact

John Denslinger investigates why supply constraints of the tiniest components can have significant consequences for even the biggest industries. A WSJ article published in mid-February spoke to the impact of electronic components on the automotive supply chain. What prompted me to read the piece was the title: ‘How car makers collided with a global chip shortage’. Curiosity set in. Could a massive market segment like automotive really miss the warning signals? The warning signs were there and chief among them was scale. Automotive is a 100M vehicles per year market with EV accounting for less than three per cent of…

5G: just in time for work from home

John Denslinger shows how 5G is turning the ‘work from home’ phenomenon from an emergency solution to a sustainable and infinitely more productive alternative. Covid is once again rewriting ‘business as usual’. The virus single-handedly triggered the great workforce reformation of 2020 where the central office vanished and a dispersed ‘work from home’ (WfH) alternative took its place. Temporary? Hardly! That trend is not likely to change anytime soon. If you think about it, the WfH movement largely succeeded because a reliable, fast, robust communications network was available. Business teetered but more than survived thanks to time-tested WiFi and LTE…

IoT: resolving the unknowns

In this article, John Denslinger sees the expansion of existing IoT applications, plus the introduction of new connected technologies, as a fundamental driving force over coming years. Forecasting several years out is often futile. Results are rarely accurate and frequently altered by disruptive technologies unknown at the time. Somehow, that doesn’t stop us from planning the future for many new technologies like IoT. I admit a certain fascination with IoT. It stems from a white paper released in 2011 by Cisco projecting 50B connected devices by 2020. At the time, that caught my attention. The application was ubiquitous. It would…

Industry 4.0: manufacturing’s supernova

John Denslinger argues Industry 4.0 is a manufacturing supernova on Earth, both for industry and the people enabling its transformation. The fourth industrial revolution was underway long before the pandemic touched every corner of the world. Covid might have limited adoption by those companies at implementation phase, but not among those with ongoing buildouts. Interestingly, had this revolution started earlier, robust digitalisation might have negated much of the Covid impact on manufacturing and their supply chains. If you’re not familiar with the term Industry 4.0 and its competitive implications, perhaps a history lesson is in order. Industry 1.0 applied to…

Domino effect on manufacturing

John Denslinger explores a decade of falling dominoes, each impacting the supply chain and driving manufacturers to explore significant changes to their global strategies. A domino effect is produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events. This is easily understandable if you visualise a falling row of dominoes. Its clear global manufacturing did not escape the domino effect. For more than two decades, manufacturers and their supply partners enjoyed relative stability in their current locations, but a series of events may be threatening that baseline. There are solutions, but first the dominoes. Perhaps the first domino to…

Seeds of change

Made in the USA was once the preferred branding for manufactured products. It signaled high quality, American ingenuity and skilled jobs for citizens. Following the post war re-build of Japanese and German economies, the advent of strategic trading blocs such as NAFTA and EU, and the rapid industrialisation of South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and China, the world became equally adept at producing durable goods. One might say it was a natural consequence of advancing societies. Now 50 plus years later quality, ingenuity and skilled jobs are widespread on every continent. So too are sophisticated supply chains that tie it all…