Reliable Source for Critical Components
Avid gardener or not, most of us can relate to the adage, “get to the root” when looking for the source of a problem. The proverbial “root” in the manufacturing supply chain is the sourcing relationship. The sourcing of product components is a manufacturing make-or-break step for successful assembly of the finished item. The most talented engineers and innovative product designs will be all for naught if a manufacturer cannot secure a reliable group of sourcing suppliers. The root of your supply chain is hidden from consumers, but the fruits of a solid supply chain will be felt when a new client adopts your product line.
From the rudimentary to the highly specialized, supply chain sourcing has been crucial since the beginning of the industrial world. Over that long history, there have been many hurdles along the way, but few events have rocked the manufacturing world as dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic climate introduced unique challenges felt on a global scale. Manufacturers with pre-pandemic supply chain issues saw those problems amplify, forcing many companies to shutter their doors. Manufacturers with strong supplier partners were far better suited to weather the pandemic-sized supply chain storm. In the era of “social distancing,” there is intense pressure on the electronics industry in particular to provide products that connect people in remote work and social situations.
While there will always be some level of risk in even the steadiest supply chain, finding suppliers with a healthy approach to managing risk offers the greatest security to manufacturers. At Excell, this is the approach we use whether we’re referring to engineering or manufacturing or smart recycling. With multiple facilities operating strategically throughout North America, we have a network with fail-safes for the fail-safes. Company-wide cross-training throughout all of our factories allows the flexibility to shift production capacity between different facilities. A wide footprint of production facilities should be a top consideration for manufacturers when assessing potential suppliers as it presents less of a risk for a bottle-neck situation with production pushed out from only one warehouse.
Production capacity and warehouse spacing are only half the battle. Without a robust supply of product components and suitable alternatives, production lines will quickly grind to a halt. As one exec observed, “the industry’s motto has shifted from ‘Cash is King’ to ‘Stock is King’”. Smart inventory management involves not just the abundance of stock, but the ability to shift production based on material availability. We achieve this flexibility by identifying multiple component alternatives within our North American supplier network. Consequently, we can adjust production as needed without disruption to our end customer. Product components move easily between facilities with significantly reduced transportation costs in a North American-based circuit.
Predictions for future supply chain disruptions might be murky at best, but aligning with predictable suppliers is the best success strategy for manufacturers. Leaning on the core principles of realistic risk management, adaptability and transparent operations, the search for a dedicated supplier will surely lead to the best partner for your business.