As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to subside in many parts of the world, the manufacturing industry wakes up to a new bleak reality. Many companies have already gone out of business due to lack of demand through the pandemic, while others have lost their vendors and are now faced with a broken supply chain.
In an effort to revive their supply chain and reduce their business risk, many companies are looking to repatriate or geographically diversify their manufacturing processes and partners. Others will potentially have to redesign their products to only include parts that are readily available. These companies will have to tackle significant hurdles, namely accelerated tooling, scaling and distribution. Each of these steps has its own challenges and long timelines.
Here is a quick summary of the overall process:
- Request for Quote (RFQ) & Design for manufacturability review processes (this usually takes a couple weeks alone)
- Figuring out which factory would make which part, managing feedback from factory, turning feedback into revised specs, assigning feedback and approving revisions
- Tool up and validation
- Filtering, tooling, programming for tiny components
- Design repeatable manufacturing for all components
- Proof and sample review to ensure designs are understood by build floor
- Review sample with designers and manufacturers to ensure it is on spec
- Put assembly together and make sure they all work
- Validate and test the assembly
- Roll production, assemble components, deploy assembly, align logistics
On average, it takes 3 to 5 months to have a defined and scaled supply chain. For companies struggling with tight cashflow and dwindling supply, this timeline is not acceptable or survivable.
The main reason why this process generally takes so long is the inefficiency of the traditional manufacturing industry as a whole. A majority of communication is still done over email and telephone. Some companies even still use Fax! As the supply chain can be multiple layers deep and there is very little visibility, a break from one part of the supply chain can cause major delays or even shut down the entire system.
This is a very real possibility due to many factories deciding to close or scale down production due to lesser demand. By the time the problem is identified, it takes time to source out another factory and start that portion of the process all over again. Quality control can also a problem. In an effort to save time, quality protocols might be bypassed or rushed, leading to riskier products that may not work.
The Omnae platform can be the solution to these challenges.
- It consolidates all communications between all the layers of the supply chain into one platform, creating visibility, eliminating blind spots, and improving efficiency in the process.
- A part of your supply chain is shut down and you are scrambling to find a replacement? Simply send out a new RFQ to Omnae’s network of active factories.
- Worried about quality control? Omnae’s platform ensures ISO-9001 compliance throughout the process.
Learn how Omnae works.
The key is to coordinate all the moving parts rapidly to get to market faster, all while adhering to existing quality standards. Creating a brand-new supply chain out of thin air in this time of extreme uncertainty is truly more about communication and good information than industrial might.
In other words, we cannot simply throw money at this problem and make it go away.
At Omnae, we are committed to doing all we can to help support the manufacturing industry. If you are struggling with damaged supply chains, please reach out to us to see how we can help you in this challenging time.