Strange days indeed! Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is completely dominating the headlines, so we’re shifting this Friday slot to focus on that topic. Everyone has their own source for numbers, so we won’t cover that. We will try to cover what it all means for the industry.
Yes, we are still in the fast-moving news cycle that is COVID-19, but this week there is an increasing amount of debate around ‘getting back to work’ and what the recovery and future might look like. As always, this topic was front and center in The Supply Chain Bunker, co-hosted by Dave Evans, Fictiv’s CEO. Today’s guests we Philip DeSimone of Carbon and Bryan Painter of Markforged focusing on the role of additive manufacturing. It was a great debate and it’s worth checking out if you didn’t attend. Also, worth reading are the COVID-19 responses of both Carbon and Markforged.
- A few months ago, we feared robots would take all the jobs. Today we almost wish they already had… Marco Annunziata, on Forbes talks about “The Robots That Help Get Food on The Shelves in The Covid-19 Crisis”. Marco also explains the amazing work being done by the manufacturing industry, citing “Fictiv’s Face Shield Project: Engineered, Tooled and Thousands Manufactured in Less Than Ten Days.”
- In The Robot Report, “Dr. Spot the robot dog now seeing COVID-19 patients”. Simplicity doesn’t typically come to mind when thinking about Boston Dynamics and how it engineers its robots. But the newest application for its Spot quadruped could be the simplest, yet most valuable use yet.
- We’ve seen lots of discussion around the need to connect supply and demand. Supply Chain Dive tells us, “IBM launches platform aimed at making ‘conversion suppliers’ easier for hospitals to find”. The “Rapid Supplier Connect” platform uses a blockchain-based infrastructure to verify the more than 200 suppliers that have so far signed up for the platform to sell face masks, boot covers, cleaning agents, face shields, gloves, testing kits, ventilators and related circuits, thermometers, gowns, surgical masks, hand sanitizer, N95 Masks and other medical equipment.
- Supply Chain Dive are also involved in the debate around the future state of supply chain, sharing a PwC survey of more than 300 CFOs suggesting “Supply chains unlikely to relocate post-coronavirus”. Immediate supply chain concerns are waning as CFOs gain clarity on what to expect in the short term and what kind of changes are necessary to weather shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic in the future. CFOs recognize the value of diversification (56% plan to find alternate and additional sourcing options in reaction to COVID-19) but this is a somewhat long-term goal.
- In WIRED, “As Workers Spread Out to Halt the Virus, Robots Fill the Gaps”. Social distancing requires rethinking the layout of workplaces. A new breed of robots can help keep factories and warehouses running.
- And the list of layoffs continues to grow at an alarming rate. Lisette Voytko of Forbes, list “Coronavirus Layoffs: Lyft, Boeing Latest To Cut Workers Amid Pandemic”. As the coronavirus pandemic keeps Americans confined to their homes, nearly every industry has been negatively impacted by the disease, and businesses losing out on cash flow have started laying off workers.
Video of the week: This last two weeks I’ve been talking to EMS executives in a series called EMS@C-LEVEL. Check them out on
Webinar of the weeks: In lockdown, these feel more valuable than ever. There are two new episodes of The Eric Miscoll Show scheduled, the first next Wednesday, May 6th with Carl Hung of Season Group and Elliot Shev of Sumitronics. Then on May 20th with Chintan Sutaria of CalcuQuote and Don Akery of TTI Inc..
Also coming up is a webinar entitled “Building Supply Chain Resiliency” on May 12th with MacroFab and Fictiv CEOs discussing the role of manufacturing platforms in creating more agile and resilient supply chains.
And that’s the SCOOP for this week. Stay safe, talk to friends, ask for help. Your network has never been more valuable!!