The phrase, “unprecedented times,” is commonly used to describe the time period between COVID-19's initial outbreak and the present. While it’s true that COVID-19 has challenged the global supply chain in a way never before seen, it also comes with a few lessons to take note of to future-proof manufacturing, packaging and distribution processes moving forward. These lessons include the following:

Globalization is an Advantage

While consolidating all manufacturing to one geographic location may have worked in the past, the pandemic reveals how vulnerable this can leave companies. This is especially visible with the COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia, where many of the largest factories consuming components are located. Spreading the risk, rather than consolidating in one geographic location, leaves the supply chain less susceptible to major impact from manufacturing disruption.

Strategic Partnerships Make a Difference

Maintaining relationships with secondary suppliers has long been a necessity for better supply assurance. The recent and ongoing shortages have amplified that need considerably. Having trusted partners to help fill shortages when product is scarce is imperative to keep the manufacturing lines running. Scrambling to find product without the help of qualified distribution partners can be scary, risky, time-consuming, and often futile. When at the risk of shortages and the high over-cost of parts, it’s the global competence, supply assurance and quality-check initiatives qualified vendor partners provide that will get you what you need.

A Diverse AVL Will Shock-Proof the Supply Chain

Designing in just a single component manufacturer’s product where alternate manufacturers exist can be a risky approach. Relying on a single manufacturer for your electronic component needs can leave you at a disadvantage when extreme shortages abound. To avoid having to go back to the drawing board and consider a product re-design, a diverse AVL provides a buffer for supply chain shocks.

The supply and demand scales are so far out of balance that a quick or smooth recovery from the current chaotic market conditions is unlikely. The journey back to more a normalized market will certainly come with continued surprises, stresses and uncertainty. Applying the lessons and enhanced supply chain strategies learned along the way can help companies cope with whatever’s next.


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