As many as 94% of the companies in the Fortune 1000 have experienced supply chain disruptions since the start of the pandemic, including global manufacturing titans like Apple. The fact that the world’s largest companies haven’t been immune suggests that abundant resources and relationships aren’t enough to help supply chain partners survive in times like these.
It also suggests that the traditional playbook for dealing with supply chain problems is no longer quite as effective as it used to be. The old methods of responding to crisis demand and supply are no longer enough to withstand these events — this pandemic, as one example, has led to shortages of everything from toilet paper to car parts.
If manufacturers want to withstand the next crisis, they’ll need a new approach. COVID-19 has highlighted the need to move from focusing on efficiency to adapting for flexibility, resilience, and agility.
Arguably, the focus on efficiency — on doing the most with the least — even exacerbated recent supply chain disruptions by leaving producers and suppliers under-resourced and locked into one way of doing things.