Supply Chain Gymnastics

In the past several years, I’ve watched as companies have become highly skilled at performing what I call supply chain gymnastics—outsourcing, subcontracting, partnering, offshoring, bestshoring, and all the rest, primarily in China. Today, many companies source 50 percent or more of their goods from Asia and, as a result, have lowered their costs, increased profits, and built share.

However, there is a real emergency in the making that threatens to put at risk all the benefits companies have realized (and still are realizing) from their supply-chain efforts. I’m speaking of the shipping-and freight-related infrastructure issues on the West Coast of the United States and in Western Europe.

The problem, in short, is that ...

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