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Building Resilient Supply Chains Won’t Be Easy 弹性供应链谈何容易!

来源:mg真人平台 发布时间:2020-07-20       点击数:315

by David Simchi-Levi and Edith Simchi-Levi 

2020 JUNE

The pandemic has exposed one of the major weaknesses of many supply chains: the inability to react to sudden, large-scale disruptions. This lack of resiliency has been especially notable in the supply chains of the life sciences, health care, and food industries. The resulting turmoil has generated calls for companies that had offshored production to Asia (and China, in particular) to bring it back home. But this approach is no panacea.

 这一流行病暴露了许多供应链的主要弱点之一:无法对突然的大规模中断作出反应。 这种缺乏弹性的现象在以下供应链方面尤为明显 :生命科学、医疗保健和食品业的供应链。 由此引发的动荡引发了要求将生产外包给亚洲(尤其是中国)的公司将其外包回家的呼声。 但这种方法不是万能的。

For one thing, given the huge size of the Chinese market, most global companies will need to keep a presence there to serve it. For another, since China is now a dominant, if not sole, source, for thousands of items, reducing dependence on it in many cases will take considerable investment and time.


The best way to make supply chains more resilient is by mapping the layers of suppliers, manufacturing plants, distributors, and other elements of the logistics network and applying a stress test to evaluate the ability to recover from the disruption of these sites. Once there is an understanding of where bottlenecks are located, various mitigation strategies can be considered, including adding manufacturing capabilities or suppliers or creating buffer stocks.

 使供应链更具弹性的最好方法是绘制供应商、制造工厂、分销商和物流网络的分布图,并对其进行压力测试评估从这些节点的中断中恢复的能力。  一旦了解瓶颈所在位置,就可以考虑各种缓解战略,包括增加制造能力或供应商或创建缓冲库存。

Reshoring alone does not necessarily create resiliency. Consider the recent meat shortage in the United States. This industry’s supply chain is entirely domestic. In order to reduce cost, many companies focused on consolidating manufacturing activities. The result: A relatively small number of slaughter plants now process much of the beef and pork consumed in the United States. Shutting down one plant, even for a few weeks, has a major impact throughout the country: It crushes the prices paid to farmers and leads to months of meat shortages.

单靠脱离海外采购不一定能产生弹性。 想想最近美国的肉类短缺。 这个行业的供应链完全是国内的。 为了降低成本,许多公司侧重于巩固自身的制造活动。 结果:相对较少的屠宰厂现在加工了美国消费的大部分牛肉和猪肉。即使关掉一个 工厂,即使是几个星期,也对全国产生了重大影响:它降低了支付给农民的价格,导致了几个月的肉类短缺。

Mapping and stress testing are a much more effective approach. Our experience is that companies using this approach often find that risk is hidden in unexpected places. Work that one of us (David) did with the Ford Motor Company found unexpected high risk associated with small suppliers, including many local suppliers. One part it identified that fell into this category was a low-cost sensor widely used in its vehicles: If the supply of it were disrupted, the carmaker would need to shut down its manufacturing operations. Because of the total amount spent on this item was low, Ford’s procurement group had not paid much attention to it.

供应链网络分布图和压力测试是一种更有效的方法。我们的经验是,使用这种方法的公司经常发现风险隐藏在意想不到的地方。 我们中的一个人(大卫)与福特汽车公司所做的调研工作发现:许多当地供应商有关的意外高风险在小供应商中。 其中一部分是一种广泛用于其车辆的低成本传感器:如果其供应中断,该汽车制造商将需要关闭其制造业务。 因为花在这便宜的传感器上面的成本很低,福特的采购小组没有太多关注它。

For industries that are essential to the country, such as pharmaceuticals and health care, there needs to be government involvement to ensure that supply chains are resilient. There is a precedent: In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. government and European Union instituted astress test for banks to guarantee that major institutions whose failure could cause the entire financial system to collapse had the wherewithal to survive a future crisis. Based on our experience in supply chain risk, we suggest that similarly critical supply chains should be required to pass stress tests.

对于对国家至关重要的行业,如药品和医疗保健,需要政府参与,以确保供应链具有复原力。 有先例:我 2008年金融危机之后,美国政府和欧盟对银行进行了一次令人震惊的测试,以保证其失败可能导致整个金融系统的主要机构崩溃有足够的资金来度过未来的危机。根据我们在供应链风险方面的经验,我们建议类似的关键供应链应该被要求通过压力测试。

Increasing supply chain resiliency for essential products and services may indeed require local manufacturing capabilities. But this is not necessarily a cheap or simple matter. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, more than 80% of chemicals used to make drugs sold in Europe now originate from China and India. The chemical production is environmentally damaging, so increasing resiliency of drug supply chains requires the development of clean technology, which may take up to 10 years and would require a significant financial investment.

增加对基本产品和服务的供应链弹性可能确实需要当地的制造能力。 但这不一定是一件廉价或简单的事情。 在药物方面 例如,在欧洲销售的药品中,80%以上的化学品来自中国和印度。化学生产对环境有害,因此增加了弹性 药物供应链需要开发清洁技术,这可能需要长达10年的时间,并需要大量的财政投资。

But without understanding the vulnerabilities that currently exist, such decisions can’t be made. Companies need to act now to uncover the weaknesses that exist in their supply networks, and governments must decide which industries are essential to their countries. Only then can they begin to take steps that will ensure that the turmoil generated by the pandemic doesn’t happen again.

但如果不了解目前存在的漏洞,就无法做出这样的决定。 公司现在需要采取行动,以发现其供应网络中存在的弱点,并进行治理。 国家统计局必须决定哪些行业对其国家至关重要。 只有到那时,他们才能开始采取措施,确保大流行病造成的动荡不再发生。