In this video featuring John Lindeen, Sr. Vice President of Global Operations, he shares expert insights on some of the systemic issues companies are facing as they manage supply chain challenges in an efficient and forward-thinking way. John emphasizes the importance of selecting manufacturing partners who align strategically at the management and executive levels. With many companies facing short-term challenges including shortages of both labor and component parts, John emphasizes the importance of higher level relationships between the manufacturer and the customer to address these challenges.
Read more about Nortech’s recommended best practices for managing supply chain challenges.
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John Lindeen, Sr. Vice President Global Operations: [00:00:09]
Most organizations are starting to see the relationships and the people side of doing business, focusing on how we work together as a partner. This is happening not only at the supply chain level, not only at the middle management, but at the executive levels to share best practices, but also sharing strategic directions on where you’re going and what you’re doing. Those relationships at a higher level, really focus alignment on the organization across the board making sure that it’s a win-win scenario as we bring more onshoring back into the U.S.
What Short Term Supply Chain Challenges Do Businesses Face Today?
Some of the things that we’re seeing that are short-term and impacting most organizations’ ability to meet customer demands are demand in labor and demand in component parts. Those are typically short-term processes. As a result of stuff coming out in the last two years, we’re seeing a systemic change in how you integrate your supply chain with your partners and make sure that the organizations are working together as one company driving toward the same goals. The industry is seeing less of the days of just beating up a supplier to be successful driving down the price and speeding up delivery. Now we partner on quality, delivery, and how together we effectively change cost as a team, instead of one individual just pushing another organization.
How Has Lean Manufacturing Changed?
Organizations are looking at lean differently than they did four, five, 10, or 15 years ago when they were trying to cut costs and drive down to the lowest denominator and having things arrive just in time. We’ve all seen this through the pandemic and then the global supply chain crisis, and trying to come back out of that, we’ve learned just in time, or that very lean, is too lean. We are starting to put more products and more safe gaps in between various key stakeholders to make sure that we’re keeping continuity of supply across the globe.
How Do Strategic Relationships Drive Success?
We’re going more toward a relationship-based business to drive success. Part of that relationship involves purchasing and sales teams, but now middle management, manufacturing, and senior-level leaders really are getting more engaged in being part of the solution and the process to be successful. Without those teams involved, you go into a transaction phase and don’t get all the benefits from the relationships at the higher level with good alignment on strategic initiatives and goals. Typically, that alignment will drive down cost, and produce improved delivery times and quality because the teams are being proactive, rather than rushing.
What Does It Take To Manage Supply Chain Successfully?
As you are choosing the right partner, make sure you look at the right people and the right collaboration. Then as you pick that supplier, make sure they’ve got a good robust process system that’s going to help you succeed. Without those two things: the right people and the right robust processes in the supply chain selection, it makes things a little bit more challenging.