In his June 2021 editorial, ASSEMBLY's editor in chief John Sprovieri discussed President Biden's February executive order to review critical U.S. supply chains. I would like to build on John's analysis and offer advice to the Biden administration.
Shortening and closing supply chain gaps for essential products will immediately benefit the following industries: personal protective equipment (PPE), medical device manufacturing, electronics and defense. Sixty percent of reshoring cases after March 2020 mention the pandemic as a factor in the decisions. Already, reshoring cases among manufacturers of medical devices and PPE are double compared with last year.
The volatility and uncertainty resulting from trade wars and the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with increased consumer demand for faster delivery, customization and responsiveness, is helping to promote reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Reshoring and FDI are both motivated by the same logic: the agility and financial advantages that companies achieve by producing near their customers.
If there's a silver lining to the COVID pandemic, it might be that it encourages U.S. manufacturers to consider reshoring. Last year's shortages of personal protective equipment, ventilators, pharmaceutical ingredients and other medical products opened a lot of eyes in board rooms and in Washington.
On March 26, Stellantis announced that it would temporarily close five North American assembly plants starting April 5. The affected plants are in Illinois, Michigan, Mexico and Canada. At press time, the plants were expected to be closed through mid-April.
MCLEAN, VA—What products and components offer the biggest opportunities for reshoring? What advanced manufacturing technology is needed to enable the reshoring? To what degree did the pandemic disrupt supply chains, and how did it affect sourcing? To answer these questions and better understand the needs of the manufacturing technology community, AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology and the Reshoring Initiative are asking manufacturers to participate in an online survey to help in rebuilding the supply chain. The survey is open through March 31.