Manufacturers Plan Nearshoring and Reshoring

Manufacturers Plan Nearshoring and Reshoring

In April 2020, 878 North American companies were surveyed, with 64% of those companies reporting they will likely reshore or nearshore manufacturing and sourcing to avoid supply chain disruptions in the future.  Manufacturers can shorten lead time and cut transportation costs by reshoring and/or nearshoring.

The handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in China further illustrated the vulnerabilities associated with sourcing from distant regions of the world.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, 64% of manufacturers say reshoring is likely following pandemic: survey, by Matt Leonard, May 14, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / 3D_creation

Discussion Questions:

1.  Let’s suppose a United States company is planning to maintain a current supplier in China and plans to nearshore a new supplier in Mexico.  What is the best sourcing strategy for each supplier from the company’s perspective?

Guidance: Lead time from China is longer, but the costs may or may not be lower.  Lead time from Mexico should be Continue reading

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Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

In the 1980s, Wendy’s ran a very successful advertising campaign with the now-famous phrase, “Where’s the beef?”

This phrase has taken on new meaning as just under 20% of the company’s restaurants are out of beef.  Obviously, this is a difficult problem as Wendy’s is famous for its hamburgers.

The problem traces its origins to meat processing plants that are shut down, or are shutting down due to problems with a large number of workers contacting coronavirus.  These shut downs are now impacting the operations of Wendy’s.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, Nearly A Fifth of Wendy’s US Restaurants Are Out of Beef, Analyst Says, by Amelia Lucas, May 5, 2020; the NY Post article, Trump Says He’ll Call Wendy’s Executive to Help Fix Meat Shortage, by Bob Fredericks, May 6, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / smirart

Discussion Questions:

1. Why was Wendy’s one of the first to be hit by the meat Continue reading

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Ramping Up Mask Manufacturing at 3M

Ramping Up Mask Manufacturing at 3M

March 17, 2020

One of 3M’s largest manufacturing facilities, located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, has ratcheted up production to try to catch up with the growing demand for its N95 respirator masks.

Since there is no vaccine for COVID-19, the masks provide an important first line of defense in keeping medical and other emergency care employees protected while they tend to the needs of infected patients.  At the same time that demand has surged in the medical community, individual consumers have snapped up any available masks for their own personal use, despite the CDC’s claims that healthy individuals need not wear them.


Video Spotlight: 3M ramping up respirator production due to coronavirus (Feb 21, 2020, KSTP)


This post is based on the CNBC article, 3M ramps up N95 respirator production as demand surges from global coronavirus outbreak, by Seema Mody, February 28, 2020; the BBC article, Coronavirus: Sharp to use TV factory to make surgical masks, March 2, 2020; and the YouTube video featured in the Video Spotlight. Image source: Travel mania/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. How has 3M been able to rapidly increase its capacity?

Guidance: 3M was not fully utilizing its mask production facility, so it Continue reading

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