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Supply Chain Optimization
FountainBlue's February 17 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of 'Supply Chain Optimization' with opening remarks by Lam Research. Our executives in attendance represented a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, roles, and organizations, but they each have extensive experience working with supply chain challenges, particularly during the pandemic. Below is a compilation of their thoughts on supply chain optimization.
The headwinds of the pandemic wreaked havoc on our political, environmental, social, technological, legal, and educational (PESTLE) systems, but as leaders, we persevered and navigated the challenges in front of us.
Supply chain hiccups have not in the past presented the type of problems we've recently witnessed. (We have been more used to production or sales challenges.) Below are a highlight of learnings to optimize the supply chain:
Diversify your supplier base.
Build deep trust-based relationships with the whole network of suppliers.
Once you've secured the materials, ensure that they are stored and transported efficiently to you - or we may revisit the scenario when we had huge amounts on ships that are idling at ports or at sea, waiting to unload.
Proactively prioritize which product/team will receive limited resources.
Create access to more local resources so that you're not relying too heavily on global suppliers.
Don't just make plans for natural disasters like earthquakes and fires, but also for man-made challenges like trade wars and invasions.
Below are some thoughts on better plan and manage supply chain issues:
Consider focusing more on software and services so that you're not dependent on materials and manufacturing.
Embrace technology solutions like AR/VR and conferencing to deliver immersive support experiences when you are supporting customers remotely.
Build a dashboard for intelligent operations so that you can model scenarios and responses.
Consider offering software and services add-on solution, leveraging a customer's existing hardware and infrastructure.
Leverage alliances and collaborations for win-win returns and results. Your friend might be your customer, your competitor, your partner!
I learned so much listening to our executives this morning. My bottom line is that it's leaders and innovators like the ones present today who will help us all address the supply chain optimization challenges and opportunities ahead.