For many electronics companies, the supply chain that carries raw materials and components from their sources all the way to their production endpoint is absolutely crucial. For instance, organizations like Adam Tech would be sidelined without constant access to the vital spring loaded connectors, mating pads and magnetic cable assemblies that are crucial to making their end products. Instead of scrambling to react when problems arise, manufacturers need to plan ahead and come up with tangible strategies that can quickly be employed if snags or kinks develop in their supply chains.
SOURCES OF SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION
Even the most efficient and transparent manufacturer cannot escape difficulties with the web of people and companies that combine to carry their products from source to end user. Disruptions can happen for many reasons. These include global pandemics, trade conflicts, wars, transportation delays, price fluctuations, issues with product production and cyber attacks. While many of these are beyond a company’s control, there are concrete preventive measures that can be instituted.
Devoting resources and energy to develop an emergency strategy ahead of time is a must. By so doing, all stakeholders can be given a place at the table so that their concerns and priorities are taken into consideration. During this collaboration, all affected parties have a chance to cooperate to make contingency plans and propose solutions.
As the recent pandemic made clear, single sourcing leaves companies, particularly electronics suppliers, vulnerable to supply chain interruptions and failures. Accumulating vital components and storing them in preparation for a potential pandemic or other disaster can, at least for the short term, decrease a company’s risk level.
CHECK YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN FOR WEAKNESSES
The web of regulations, people and small and large suppliers that is woven together to form a company’s supply network is both wide and intricate. Because of its complexity, there are numerous pain and failure points embedded in its infrastructure. Conducting a thorough mapping procedure can help management to identify all players and their respective roles as well as the potential issues that could arise from each. After undergoing this often long and expensive process, the company is in a position to be able to prioritize risks to determine which are the most important and need to be addressed first.
Although single sourcing can help a company to build a long-term relationship with a trusted supplier, it leaves that organization open to problems should disruption occur. For that reason, organizations should do all they can to find additional and alternate providers for the components and other raw materials they need. If possible, these sources should ideally be located in other regions of the globe.
USE TECHNOLOGY TO EVALUATE POTENTIAL SUPPLY CHAIN THREATS
Innovations such as artificial intelligence-enabled mapping and environmental analysis solutions can scan the entire panorama of a supply chain to ferret out potential weak points and leaks. They can also make recommendations for remediation based on stored knowledge about existing threats and security vulnerabilities.
Effective supply chain management reduces disruptions and their impact by being as transparent as possible with customers should interruptions occur. That includes giving them a realistic estimate of inventory delays and being as flexible as possible. Visibility and open communication with all parties in the process can minimize the negative effects that supply chain issues bring to a company and its end consumers.