Analyzing Success Case Studies in Pivoting Manufacturing Strategies to Benefit Frontline Healthcare Responders in the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Restrictions on Access:
- Open Access.
- The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted major challenges throughout global supply chains. As the virus spread throughout the world and governments implemented various restrictions, some companies were forced to close their operations if they produced "non-essential" goods, some companies had to innovate their current facilities to adhere to the new restrictions, and many companies faced supply shortages and demand shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic is unique compared to other disruption events due it being simultaneously a regional and global event with an unclear timeline or duration as to how long the pandemic will impact the world. In addition to these disruptions, many companies and supply chains were ill-prepared in terms of having positive redundancy and risk management strategies built into their supply chains. Because of this, this thesis serves a critical role as a resource for companies that are looking to implement successful strategies into their supply chains to overcome challenges posed by a major disruption event by analyzing case studies and compiling best practices from companies that successfully accomplished this during the COVID-19 pandemic. This thesis analyzes three case studies: 3M, which successfully increased manufacturing capacity of N95 respirators; Merrow Manufacturing Company, which innovated their supply chain to produce nine types of PPE with the goal of creating a long-term sustainable supply chain for PPE in the U.S.; and Cartamundi, which temporarily pivoted their supply chains to produce plastic face shields until they can return to manufacturing their traditional product lines. From this analysis, the research found numerous commonalities of key factors that lead these companies to success. The first factor is companies were quick to successfully act when their company values were implemented and supported by the workforce and the shift a company was looking to make is aligned with those values. The second is the use of strategic relationships and established lines of communication between critical internal and external stakeholders, including suppliers, major customers, innovation and design teams, and manufacturing facilities. Thirdly, utilizing a balance of regional or domestic supply chain model, or simply having suppliers and manufacturing facilities close to the point of demand, allowed for these companies to mitigate some challenges posed by this global pandemic. Lastly, companies were able to successfully pivot their manufacturing facilities and supply chains to support the greater good and to keep their businesses open by having flexibility, adaptability, and resiliency to innovate their current processes. Learning from these key success factors and implementing these strategies can aid in building more resilient supply chains and mitigate the impacts of future major disruption events.
- Dissertation Note:
- B.S. Pennsylvania State University 2020.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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