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The U.S.-China trade war and the supply and demand shocks brought on by the Covid-19 crisis are forcing manufacturers everywhere to reassess their supply chains. For the foreseeable future, they will face pressure to increase domestic production, grow employment in their home countries, reduce their dependence on risky sources, and rethink strategies of lean inventories and just-in-time replenishment, which can be crippling when material shortages arise. This article provides advice to make your supply chain more resilient without sacrificing competitiveness. Start by mapping the full extent of your supply network to identify both direct and indirect sources. Determine how quickly those that are most vital for you could either recover from a disruption or be replaced by an alternative. Address the vulnerabilities by diversifying your suppliers or stockpiling essential materials. Explore production-process improvements or new technologies--such as automation, continuous-flow manufacturing, and 3D printing--that could lower your costs or increase your flexibility when faced with a shock. And revisit your product strategies: Offering consumers more choices isn''t always better.
Global supply chain;Inventory management;Manufacturing;Offshoring;Operations and processes;Risk assessment;Supply chain management