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Covid-19 drives Jabil Penang to manage supply chain complexity

Covid-19 drives Jabil Penang to manage supply chain complexity

17 Sep 2020

The knock-on effects of Covid-19 such as lockdowns, border closures, travel restrictions, trade curbs and the stay-at-home notice have amplified the need to manage supply chain complexity effectively.

Jabil Penang managing director SJ Tan said such events can have a huge impact on parts availability within individual supply chains.

“Adjusting to such a shift in circumstances requires insights into commodity supplier’s roadmaps and production plans.

“To manage these changes, we work closely with partners at the heart of each supply chain. By tracking the activities of major suppliers, we can predict shifts in the availability and help manage risk and avoid obsolescent products,” he told the New Straits Times recently.

Tan said macro trends such as globalisation, product complexity, reduced product development cycles, micro-segmentation of markets, mass customisation, and the accelerated pace of business change were exerting pressures on businesses.

“Disruption to the supply chain occurs more often than we think. Component shortages, rising labour costs, geopolitical tensions, climate change, price hikes, financial crises, protests, strikes and natural disasters are just one of the many challenges that supply chain professionals face regularly,” he said.

The manufacturing solutions company believe that different challenges would emerge as it progresses towards a new generation of the supply chain that requires the implementation of new infrastructure and new skills to manage these systems.

“Adapting to these changes will involve re-skilling of the workforce, and possibly sourcing for talent in non-traditional disciplines and channels.

“We have developed the Jabil suite of Intelligent Digital Supply Chain (IDSC) solutions. It consists of procurement services, supply chain services and Jabil InControlTM which is a cloud-based platform, Jabil’s IDSC solutions provide end-to-end visibility, actionable data analytics and advanced risk management to enable broader collaboration throughout the supply chain ecosystem,” he said.

Tan said advances in connectivity, big data and the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) had led to a new breed of intelligent manufacturing technology, impacting Jabil Penang’s operations.

“Hence, we drive innovation to stay agile by leveraging the art of supply chain to ensure we help customers capitalise on accelerated change and achieve a digital business advantage,” he said.

In June 2019, the company established Jabil Execution Management Suite Control Center (JEMScc) that uses data visualisation that will be channelled into dynamic screens to exhibit what is happening on the shop floor in real-time.

“This gives us greater visibility into line performance and helps us identify areas that need attention or improvement and actionable analytics to help optimise efficiency,” he said.

Jabil Penang’s digitisation efforts have enabled most of its employees to continue work from home after the Movement Control Order. This limits the number of people in the plant, thus significantly reducing the risk of local community exposure.

Tan said healthcare and telecommunications were two of the top industries that contributed most to the accelerated growth in a small volume production build, especially for product parts which address the gap between one-off prototyping and full volume production.

Jabil Penang manages more than 700,000 active parts with about US$15 billion in annual spending for over 300 customers on an enterprise level.

With over 12,000 employees, Jabil Penang had trained and upskilled many Malaysians, while facilitating the transfer of new technologies to the local industry.

“This continues as we look to invest in more strategic hires such as architects, technical leads and programme managers to help us make better decisions and improve the quality of internal and external customer interactions,” he added.

Source: NST Posted on : 17 September 2020

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