Over the past 18 months – and perhaps not as widespread since rationing during the Second World War – Americans have experienced a loss of reliable access to everyday necessities like toilet paper to packaged foods. At the same time, the United States has been at the forefront of another critical distribution channel: the coronavirus vaccine rollout across the globe. As a result of this attention on US supply chains, President Biden issued an investigative committee to audit the current supply chain ecosystem, with particular emphasis on high value items such as semiconductors and large capacity batteries, critical minerals and materials, and advanced pharmaceutical ingredients (API).
In June 2021, this committee announced their findings in their report, Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Fostering Broad-Based Growth. The report is as wide-ranging in scope as it is long (clocking in at 250 pages). But across the three supply chains the report examines – semiconductors, strategic and critical minerals, and APIs – a clear theme emerges. Every industry directly influences a myriad of others, and supply-chain lapses can have significant consequences: “[M]ore secure and resilient supply chains are essential to our national security, our economic security, and our technological leadership.”
The report also emphasizes that strong supply chains only result from dedicated efforts. “The work of strengthening America’s critical supply chains will require sustained focus and investment,” the committee notes. “Building manufacturing capacity, increasing job quality and worker readiness, inventing and commercializing new products, and strengthening relations with America’s allies and partners will not be done overnight.” The report indicates, too, extending its findings and recommendations to other key industries such as communications technology, energy, transportation, production of agricultural commodities and food products.
So, what does this mean to you and your business? To put it simply, now may be the time for you to evaluate your supply chain and investigate potential vulnerabilities. How dependent are your products on a far-reaching, global system of source materials or manufacturers? And most importantly, how quickly would you be able to bounce back if these systems were seriously disrupted? Ultimately, it’s not just the lack of end-user consumer goods like toilet paper on shelves that’s concerning and making the news, but how companies are working to take control to prevent potential supply-chain issues like these from happening in the future.
The good news is, you’re not alone in answering these crucial questions about how to build a more secure and resilient supply chain. Over the next few months, the Overhaul team will dive deeper into how themes in the executive order and the committee report affect technology and pharmaceuticals, as well as keep an eye out for updates across a broader range of industries. You’ll hear first-hand from experts at Microsoft, Bristol Myers Squib, Coldchain Technologies, Veradapt, Flex and more to help guide your strategy as you evolve your current supply chain. Together, we’ll navigate a new, stronger course through an ever-changing landscape.
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