The New Supply Chain: Spring Training

Posted by IMEC on Jun 12, 2020 9:50:41 AM

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.

There is a ground swell movement, a robust dialogue relating to what should the supply chain look like in the future.  We are collaborating more than ever with engaging partners across industry and functional boundaries.

We cannot predict the path for the return of off shore supply – in some industries it can be 60% of the total inventory.  We do know that we have to be different, that we have to think globally and execute locally.

There will be some tough decisions ahead – who will hold the inventory? What’s a reasonable safety stock and how many vendors will participate in the network? Do we think concepts like Lean, Pull Systems and Kanban will go away? Probably not.  As business systems become more sophisticated and we collaborate ALL throughout the supply chain, we will gain new insights and find ways to manage inventory and control costs.

Can everything we need be last mile delivery with limited inventory in the supply chain?  Probably not and nor should it.  Organizations will need to invest in technology, resources, and potentially capital to reinforce the supply chain.

We can be more prepared, we can require more reactive capacity in the network, we can ask to have strategic partners that can pivot to provide essential raw materials, parts, equipment, etc.  Along the way, the need to practice – world class companies will have pandemic planning events that test the process design and capability.  We listen, we learn, and we act!

We cannot go back to the old ways – we must show the courage and fortitude to drive change, think differently, and challenge each other to change paradigms.

We have shown that manufacturing and the supply chain is capable of amazing things, accomplishments not even on a white board yet!

Can’t wait until we are back in season!


Read part 1 of the series: The New Supply Chain: Pandemic

Read part 2 of the series: The New Supply Chain: Rebalance

Read part 3 of the series: The New Supply Chain: Reinvent

Read part 4 of the series: The New Supply Chain: Make a Difference

Read part 5 of the series: The New Supply Chain: Status Quo

About the author
Mike has spent over 30 years in the food and food packaging space working as an engineer, operations and multi-plant manager along with supply chain and logistics roles.  He has worked with CPG companies - Walmart, Target, and Costco along with food service, grocery processor and distribution accounts.  He also has extensive order to cash business systems implementation experience with SAP/JDA. He is now the VP of Supply Chain for Greenleaf Food

Past Supply Chain Webinars:

Time to Rebuild: COVID-19 Supply Chain Wake-Up Call Webinar
Learn how reshoring can help to rebuild a shorter, more profitable and resilient supply chain for the future of your company.

Watch Webinar

Reinventing the Supply Chain Webinar
Learn a lesson from this current crisis and begin making fundamental changes now to prepare your supply chain for future shocks. This session highlights the ideal supply chain of 2030 and key questions to ask as you lead your transition from the current to a more collaborative and accurate supply chain plan. For steps you can take TODAY: Learn about the Supplier Scouting program from IMEC and the IMA, connecting suppliers with those in need of supplies.

Watch Webinar

Questions? Get in touch with IMEC.


Written by IMEC

Topics: operations, supply chain, business continuity planning, Leadership, COVID-19, The new supply chain series

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