Importance of Supply Chain Technology

Published on 11 March 2021

The pandemic has increased the risk for every business, sometimes significantly, with many experiencing shocks in both supply and demand. Manufacturing facilities are experiencing the majority of this increased risk (a.k.a. uncertainty). As factories continue operating through the pandemic and beyond, how will businesses, such as yours, navigate these wider risks, specifically with an eye towards supply chain resilience?

The global pandemic has, to come degree, demonstrated potential obstacles with the global supply chain as it ran before March 2020. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, with the majority of simpler PPEs (e.g., masks, surgical gloves, etc.) built in low-cost production hubs, such as Malaysia and China, while the U.S. and Germany, for example, specialized in relatively high-tech medical devices (e.g., ventilators, defibrillators). Going forward, effectively managing the supply chain is vital for manufacturers in all industries, including glass and fenestration, looking to save on costs, while delivering products to customers when and how they want it.

In many industries, manufacturing companies are investing in technologies that touch every step of the process, including sales, purchasing, inventory, assembly, logistics, transportation, and delivery. Each of these areas is effected in some way by new technologies. For example, adding barcodes to items allows companies to scan and track parts throughout the production process, which, in turn, helps companies quickly see where improvement can be made. Barcodes can help track deliveries and breakage, thus necessitating an immediate rebuild. Companies of all sizes can employ barcodes, for example, as a simple way to track and monitor production, transportation, delivery, and inventory. To learn more about utilizing barcodes, read up more about A+W Smart Companion by reading more here (Point #4) or watching our video.

Logistics, in its simplest definition, can refer to just the transportation of goods to customers. In its more detailed version, it could refer to the entire supply chain network. However you define the word, logistics is strategic to the success of your business. If you are having issues outside of your own manufacturing facility, how do you identify and remediate these disruptions? That is an issue requiring leaders within the company to develop potentially new sources of materials. In this instance, can your company source locally as a backup or even build necessary components in-house, such as fabricate your own glass, if you’re a window supplier? How will these decisions affect price, quality, quantity, etc.? You and your leadership team must weigh the cost/benefit scale to make the best decision for your company at that moment. To learn more about logistics using A+W Software, read up more about A+W Logistics Optimizer by reading more here or watching our video.

The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to affect the global supply chain network forcing companies, such as yours, to rethink every aspect of their business, including their supply chain. It is doubtful in the long-run that COVID-19 will disrupt supply-chain globalization, but in the short-run, some governments could deem essential items, such as glass, windows, and doors, necessary for industries, including housing. How can you and your colleagues prepare for and remediate these disruptions to meet customer demand without sacrificing quality or raising prices?

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