Say what you want about 2020, but it forced each of us to push our personal and professional boundaries of accepting change and quickly adapting to our new reality. One of the greatest lessons we should take away from this year is that we are capable of accelerated change when forced to do so. We now know that we are capable of rapid change and it will be the norm in our professional lives moving forward. We now must embrace change more quickly than ever. With industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (iIOT) on our doorstep, we have the opportunity to make the greatest leap forward in manufacturing in 2021 that we have seen in 50 years.
Like many of you, we see hope on the horizon with vaccines, schools moving back to in-person learning, restaurants beginning to see a path to success, and all the other “return to normal” practices! We can all envision getting back to the “blueprint” for 2021 – or should we?
There is a lot of conversation right now about reshoring, but not about its relevance to small and medium-sized manufacturing firms. The basic premise of reshoring is easy to understand – bring jobs back to America by encouraging companies currently offshoring to “reshore” and purchase labor or materials from a U.S. firm. This in turn benefits the local economy and stabilizes the buyers’ supply chain by not relying on overseas partners.
Reshoring and keeping strong domestic supply chains are an even greater imperative based on what we have learned in the COVID crisis. One way to address reshoring is to focus on imported items. That's why IMEC is partnering with the Reshoring Initiative to provide a fully-funded opportunity for small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to play a vital role in import substitution for the components they can supply right here in Illinois.
The defense manufacturing supply chain is critical to both the U.S. economy and national security. Support is needed for emerging technologies such as directed-energy weapons, hypersonics and cybersecurity, all of which are vital to national defense. While challenges exist, there have been remarkable successes due to the MEP National Network’sTM dedication to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Manufacturers assisted have included those that supply a material, component or subsytem used in a defense or national security system. The Network continues to provide support in building a robust defense supply chain.
Part 7 of "The New Supply Chain" blog series by Mike Loquercio, Vice President of Supply Chain at Greenleaf Foods.
Whether your industry is “back in the game” or not, we have seen several starts and stops across the overall playing field, especially the food and beverage markets given COVID19 impacts; your supply chain is different!
Part 6 of "The New Supply Chain" blog series by Mike Loquercio, Vice President of Supply Chain at Greenleaf Foods.
We are starting to see some signs of the economy opening up and supply chains getting some “swings in the cage” before the full season begins. In many industries, COVID19 demand has stretched the supply chain beyond any reasonable expectations and yet we have found creative ways to make it work. In other industries, we have been operating with diminished needs and looking for ways to repurpose and pivot to support the health care industry.
The Coronavirus gave businesses two choices when it interrupted life as we knew it: wait and see if the storm passes or lead the charge through the storm. Gold Eagle, among many manufacturers, chose the latter. This 4th generation family business, built on the manufacturing and marketing of engine additives and surface cleaners, treatments and protectants, has put a whole new spin on the term “hero.”
When COVID-19 knocked us all off our feet a couple of months ago, Illinois manufacturers quickly pivoted to meet the demands to battle this growing pandemic. It is no surprise that companies like Mighty Hook are going above and beyond their normal operations and procedures to ensure their part in helping our state respond to the crisis effectively.
Part 5 of "The New Supply Chain" blog series by Mike Loquercio, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Expert.
As we see the country opening up cautiously and the beginnings of a phased approach to reviving manufacturing, now is not the time to return to the status quo. We would all agree that manufacturing and the supply chain must be different – and will be different – but are unsure of what our future state might look like.
Given all our concerns with healthcare, social distancing, unemployment, the new workplace with remote learning and our economy, it’s easy to let the focus on supply chain fall to the back of the priority list.