Just three months later, once again, we find ourselves needing to broach the subject with the aim of guaranteeing their resilience no longer in light of a pandemic, but with a more holistic focus.
The impact that COVID-19 has had on supply chains has highlighted that diversification is key. The health restrictions closed the factory of the world, unbalancing the rapport between the supply and the demand of certain products, making it clear that we need to operate in a flexible way to compensate for substantial fluctuations. Internationalization provides a global perspective and facilitates making better decisions at a local level. This led us to the conclusion that, in certain sectors, the supply chains had to be strengthened in regional markets and we realized that being close to the clients was more necessary than ever.
An analysis by McKinsey, entitled The Restart, on the return to normality, fixes as a starting point the process of mapping out, product by product, the consumer behavior in the country, even going so far as to focus on each region and each client and subsequently being able to prioritize recovery opportunities in local markets.
Another report by Accenture (“Boosting resilience in the supply chain: how to act today and what to do tomorrow to face COVID-19”) highlights that, to improve the responsiveness and resilience of supply chains in the times of coronavirus, we must protect them and reinforce them against future changes through digitization. Undoubtedly, technologies such as equipping machines and plants with sensors, the Internet of Things, Cloud storage, Artificial Intelligence and its most profound version, Machine Learning and Data Analysis, provide responses to different challenges. Smart manufacturing models are useful and will be useful for navigating through future disruptions in the best possible way.
The implementation of latest-generation software equipped for working remotely, the automation of processes and the real-time visibility of the factory will be key when facing supply/demand shocks caused by unexpected events like COVID-19.
Digitization makes it possible for us to monitor what is happening at the plant, from the arrival of an order, its design, manufacturing, storage and distribution. Having each phase monitored is fundamental in order to avoid stock problems, effectively managing the use of material and the distribution of the workload.
This is possible in the metal and sheet metal industry thanks to the integrated vision of CAD/CAM, Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and ERP software in its advanced version, where the focus is on putting these enablers that we mentioned before into practice and getting the absolute most out of our plants.
Through management platforms, integrated and adapted to such a specific sector as that of cutting sheet metal, tubes and profiles, it is possible to turn this new paradigm envisaged by Industry 4.0 into a reality.
Lantek 360, shapes this platform with different applications, such as:
With these applications, you can work with the flexibility and agility of yesterday, today and the tomorrow required by the market, remotely from any device.
These are the formulas for facing the challenges and strengthening ourselves against moments of uncertainty. What will not change in the supply chains following the impact of COVID-19 is the reflection we were already making almost a quarter ago, that in order to be competitive, implementing new digitization strategies that provide real solutions that have been put into practice is key.
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