Is There Still Pain in the (Supply) Chain & Is Nearshoring the Solution?Is There Still Pain in the (Supply) Chain & Is Nearshoring the Solution?
How can companies navigate the turbulent supply chain?
October 18, 2023
MINNEAPOLIS - Before 2020, the biggest supply chain issues in medtech came from natural disasters. However, the pandemic happened and the term “pain in the supply chain” was redefined.
Now companies are looking at reshoring as popular option. Last week, a panel at MD&M Minneapolis discussed reshoring and the current condition of the supply chain.
“When we started talking about offshoring about a decade or two ago, it was a fairly simple conversation with a fairly specific objective,” Julie Schulte, co-founder & CEO at Chamfr told the audience It was where can you get low-cost manufacturing.”
She added that complexities surrounding the supply chain have increased. These include Geopolitical instability, supply chain issues with climate change, natural disasters, and a rise in labor costs.
In med device you have these long product life cycles and you can’t just pick those up and move them like we can in consumer products or another industry, so I think the pandemic definitely caught us off guard and we said, ‘OK going to other countries just to get the lowest cost isn’t a good strategy anymore’.”
The idea of nearshoring is also relative to a firm’s location, said Barry Schnur, President and CEO at David Schnur & Associates.
“I think for most [with operations in America] when we first started talking about nearshoring, we thought about bringing things closer, back to the U.S. What’s interesting that talking to our Costa Rica customers they’re also focused on nearshoring,” he said.
Schnur noted that for them it means having a supply chain closer to Costa Rica.
“If they can’t have it right there they want it in the U.S. They don’t want it somewhere else, they want it at a place that has better logistics and a reliable source of supply …”
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