Lead-Times demand CEO/COO attention, especially in the current (2020-early 2021) pandemic-induced disruptions in the manufacturing and logistics segments of supply chains across industries.
In highly uncertain demand-supply environments, as in the current "fog" of covid19, where supply lines face ongoing uncertainty and disruption at various points - such as, inadequate logistics or factory (fab) capacity, or labor shortages - lead time for a product enterprise becomes the most critical metric, right alongside adequate capital and product quality.
This article outlines why is lead time important, what mid-size and smaller companies can do in such uncertain (covid19) times against seemingly unsurmountable competitive odds to get a grip on their product’s lead times. The article offers new ideas and approach in two of the key areas - Process and System - which can no longer wait.
As we start transitioning from Phase 1, which relied heavily on social distancing (lock-downs, etc.) as a means of fighting the covid-19 pandemic, and into Phase 2, a "gradual re-opening", which will need a lot more layers of response (phased out re-opening of different economic sub-sectors), its valuable to reflect on the lessons from the Early Response of some nations that excelled.
This article analyzes the key elements of the early response of three nations that has yielded the most success, in the 0 to 8-week time-frame, when the novel coronavirus was still gathering strength, invisible to most, and why the responses worked.
As Product companies grow - steadily or rapidly - they invariably face headwinds to growth. They try to buck the trend using various vehicles - financial, commercial and innovation (M&A, new geographies, new product/ lines and new technologies). Surprisingly, they overlook an area of process innovation, that is available to companies of all sizes. However, this channel of innovation is only available to those that pause to focus on their cross-functional operations - Sales/ Sales Ops, Supply/ Supply Chain Ops, Product Ops and Financial Ops - to understand what's missing from their capability set.