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Mobile Supply Chains

Designing a supply chain that keeps a production floor moving while staying safe at home.

Photo of Stephen Ferguson
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Written by

Manufacturing is deemed essential and needs to continue, so supply chain teams need to support the floor. There is a concern though of the risk. How can the same support exist remotely with no loss in efficiency?

What is the need are you focusing on?

disconnect in flattening the curve and remaining productive/supportive of the production floor

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Sharing a pivot idea your organization is considering or could consider

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

1. How can remote work stations be setup for production employees? 2. How can live cameras/go pros be used to show people things or answer questions? 3. How can we come out of this more flexible and better connected than before?

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Maybe-with additional support

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

--Safer employees, free from worry. --Safe communities (especially those most at risk...hourly associates) --Agile organization that's better connected and prepared for what's next

What is your profession?

Supply Chain Manager

Where are you located (country)?

United States

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Manufacturing


Join the conversation:

Photo of Susan Jackewicz

HI Stephen Ferguson  Thank you for your idea. Supply chains are so important and challenging in these times. How might you envision managing the video link between a worker and what a camera would capture? Can you explain a bit more about the "normal" process, and if there would be a difference between small and large operations, and types of product? Thank you, Susan

Photo of Stephen Ferguson

Susan Jackewicz Thanks for the response! For production line workers, I envision shipping materials to remote workspaces (think a conference room in a coworking space) so as to keep the numbers small and social distance. As for the video link in that case, I imagine a security camera recording that the manager could access remotely to monitor efficiencies. Then a TV for him to do a Zoom when he wants to come motivate or correct behavior. Scaling this for each type of product would be hard as machinery would be a problem in some cases and in other cases material handlers/forklift drivers would still be needed to replenish materials throughout the day.

For the supply chain office staff I manage, I envision (if the plant is operating as normal and we're at home) the forklift drivers having go pros to show us of problems on the floor and having a "raise your hand" feature that pings one of my staff to start a video call to solve the issue. The same could be done by manning drones remotely perhaps to see a wider view of an area that might be crowded with material that needs to get moved.

Does that help?

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Thanks for sharing more information on how you are envisioning the mobile supply chain. Is your idea focussing on any specific type of production or could it be scaled across?

Photo of Susan Jackewicz

Hi Stephen Ferguson  Thanks for your explanation, especially relating to your own office staff. Like all things COVID that depend on many variables, how might your idea be piloted in a manufacturing segment doesn't require such specialized machinery? Or what unique places in the supply chain could be impacted using your idea? A similar question I think to what Isaac Jumba is asking....