This latest disruption will exacerbate the existing supply chain problems for companies across the globe, but it also presents an opportunity to leverage manufacturing capacity here at home.
US Manufacturing Talent Can Help Meet Demand
The global supply chain is only getting less predictable, and the companies best able to adapt to these changing dynamics are the ones who will win. I’m a firm believer that businesses can effectively navigate this uncertainty by right-shoring their supply chains and taking advantage of the existing manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities here in the US.
Just as unused capacity in transportation and housing were opportunities realized by Uber and Airbnb, unused manufacturing capacity represents a similar opportunity. There are thousands of small manufacturers spread throughout the United States with the expertise and capacity to fill many of the gaps created by disruptions in China. The demand is there and growing, it’s just a matter of investing in the manufacturing resources already in place to meet it.
Bridging the Gap Between Supply and Demand
Many small businesses simply aren’t optimized to compete in a global marketplace. They’re great at manufacturing parts, but not so great at customer service and business development. The good news is that the tools and networks exist to help them bridge those gaps, and many are off-the-shelf solutions.
Digital transformation is a major key for these small manufacturers, but that doesn’t require a full industry 4.0 retrofit to IoT-enabled production equipment. A switch to a digital document managing system and digitizing inventory and materials management and production planning will deliver huge gains in savings, speed, and quality.
Congressional Action is Needed
Identifying ways to tap into the full potential of American manufacturing is easy, but implementing the tools to make it possible requires aid from the Federal government. The Biden-Harris Administration’s 100-day review of America’s supply chains recommended substantial investments in domestic innovation and production, which is good!
But it’s not enough.
Back in June, when the report was completed, the administration called for Congress to create a Critical Supply Chain Resiliency Program. The proposed program would invest $50 billion to monitor, analyze and forecast supply chain vulnerabilities and partner with private sector stakeholders to increase resilience. Congress has yet to act on that recommendation, and last week, the White House again called for them to do so.
I agree with Biden-Harris’ push for Congress to invest further in the supply chain. To create the sort of agility that we need, the government must continue to invest in facilitating fast, effective communication among suppliers and their customers, and provide the funding and support that will help our small manufacturers maximize their potential.
American infrastructure is ready and willing to serve the needs of businesses around the world, we just need Uncle Sam to help connect our supply of manufacturing talent with that demand.
This insight is from Forbes. You can read the full article here.
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