Resiliency and Relationships: How to Navigate the Disrupted Supply Chain

The global nature of modern supply chains often means that success comes from improved relations with governmental entities, streamlined movement of goods around the world, and optimized processes. However, as discussed in our recent webinar, “Supply Chain Operations in the Age of COVID-19: What We Know & Where We Go” sponsored by King Solutions, an element closer to home may be even more critical.

“The resiliency of your own employees and your organization is just as important as the resiliency of your supply base.”

With that, Christine Meidinger, COO of Nonin Medical, succinctly tied up one of the webinar’s key takeaways that all three speakers emphasized: The external components of a well-run supply chain won’t perform at their peak without the same attention being paid to the internal elements and processes.

From the very first question, it was clear that the panelists weren’t going to fall back on platitudes about sourcing diversity and the need for good warehouse locations, they were going to give participants a look at what really makes a supply chain not just functional, but truly strong.

CentraCare COO Craig Broman pointed to data as an unexpected source of weakness in their supply chain, and something they are working on going forward as they search for more standardization across facilities and “one source of truth for our data.”

His comments were echoed by both Meidinger and Scott Munson, the global supply chain lead in 3M’s healthcare business, who added that “the speed of the information flowing through [their system] and the advance notice of issues” were critical to 3M’s response to COVID-19 as well as knowing where to deploy resources.

The last takeaway from all three of our speakers was the need for deep relationships with your suppliers before a crisis hits. Knowing how their supply chain works will help you see trouble coming, but for global crises where everyone is in the same storm, there is simply no replacement for having an internal team and external partners that are all working together to achieve the same goals. Or, as Meidinger put it: “Most of what we as an organization were able to accomplish… came down to relationships.”

Thank you to our speakers for their time and the fantastic insights they shared and to our sponsor, King Solutions for their support!

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