What do SCM, Covid19, Aspirin and vitamin have in common?

manufacturing supply chains

In these exceptional times, many things get new perspectives. In a crisis, people, and manufacturing supply chains, should concentrate on the most important things – and typically they do. I think the values of those important things are now seen more clearly than ever before.

As a service provider’s point of view, Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner at Prime Venture Partners, introduces a simple method to evaluate a company’s offering – is it an Aspirin or a vitamin? This self-evaluation for service providers is more than topical today because savvy customers are asking now: Do I really need this service? Is it solving a pain point? Or is this a nice-to-have app? In other words – is this a pain-killing Aspirin or a nice-to-have vitamin?

Manufacturing supply chains have faced disruptions during the pandemic. We are witnessing it every day. In these circumstances, it’s important to listen to the leaders of the ecosystem, think hard and experiment quickly. That’s why, right now, we are investigating what kind of experiences the manufacturing companies have in their supply chain operations during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what kind of actions have they done especially in purchasing activities.

We will release our reflections regarding manufacturing supply chains and Covid19 in the near future. But before that, I want to highlight three pain-points that need more Aspirin than vitamins in manufacturing supply chains, especially in times of crisis.

Control. Which suppliers are able to deliver on-time as requested? Do we have all the suppliers’ provided capacity in use? Do we have a problem with the country of origin? How long ahead can we see and share the forecast?

Connectivity. Do we have the relevant data in our hands? Can we trust that we have a real-time understanding of the deliveries? Do the suppliers have transparent and symmetric information with us? Does the data in ERP show the accurate status of the deliveries of our suppliers?

Community. People need to execute colleagues’ working tasks. How do they know what to do because the time for the briefing is so short and most of the information is in the email inboxes? How is it possible to find the right person to contact at the suppliers’ end? What has been discussed and agreed before, and why?

Something permanent is going to change in our behaviour during the pandemic. It’s obvious, there will be changes and we’re not going back to the normal we lived in before this crisis. When looking at the manufacturing supply chains and ecosystems as a context, the new normal will include significant improvement in digital capabilities – such as control, connectivity, community. In these circumstances, an Aspirin will be seen more clearly as a future pain-killer, and have a bigger effect than ever before.