Guest presenter

Jim Shepherd

  • Advisor on Enterprise Software and Next Generation Manufacturing
  • Plex Systems Inc, Group VP of Corporate Strategy
  • Gartner, VP & Research Fellow

COVID-19 has disrupted the complex, finely-tuned supply chains on which the global economy depends – so how do we get back on track?

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, manufacturers will not only have to immediately respond to today’s whipsaw changes in supply and demand, but longer-term this event provides an opportunity to reconsider supply strategies which left them highly vulnerable.  Regional sourcing strategies will have to expand beyond simply worrying about minimizing labor and transportation costs to also factor in better resistance to weather, health, and geopolitical disturbances.  There will also be renewed pressure to consider on-shoring or near-shoring critical materials and components.  In addition, many employees now working from home will not return to the office.  Manufacturers will have to figure out how to manage and coordinate processes like RFQ response and program management remotely.  Sharing data, drawings, project status, etc. will have to be done online in real-time.