Lisa Anderson, manufacturing and supply chain expert and president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., weighed in on the realities of 2020. Calling it a pivotal year for manufacturing and the supply chain, Anderson cites the disruption and woes of the year, as well as the silver linings in the form of growth for many companies.
Looking back, there is no doubt that consumer demand shifts were disruptive to a variety of supply chains. Those that met the disruption with resilience and innovation fared best. From retooling manufacturing lines to produce ventilators to identifying new uses for existing products or new products to address a customer need, manufacturers, distributors, and their supply chains stepped up, Anderson explained.
Five areas common to the most successful include:
- Supply Chain Resiliency
- Attention to Innovation
- Talent Engagement
- Leveraging Technology
- Ongoing Education
Anderson claims that “Companies that had strong supplier relationships and backup plans were able to hang on during the wild ride. Those who took stock of their strengths, solicited input from their employees and took a deep dive into customer needs, identified new markets and products to replace existing losses. Working from home changed the way we look at our talent and productivity. Leaders who adapted to new ways of engaging employees and tapping their strengths found a renewed respect for collaboration.”
Technology tools used to garner success included Zoom and other video-conferencing platforms, artificial intelligence, IoT, and software to improve processes and analyze demand. Those companies who continued to emphasize ongoing education are entering 2021 with a superior workforce.
Ms. Anderson recently published an eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19 providing insight, advice and experiential value for creating the customer experience. She also offers assessments to determine how prepared manufacturers are to take advantage of post-COVID opportunities.