EDITOR’S NOTE: This report is part of The Supply Chain of the Future series that ran in sibling publication Automotive News.
More than two years into the COVID- 19 pandemic, and nearly that long into the global microchip shortage, auto companies are taking stock of their suppliers to determine ways to stay on top of an unprecedented barrage of supply chain woes.
Companies and governments figuring out how to gain greater visibility into incredibly complex automotive supply chains has become a major topic as the industry grapples with the challenges in front of it. Twenty years ago, an automaker or Tier 1 supplier might not have known or cared where certain raw materials were sourced by Tier 2 suppliers, or from where the widgets that get built into a larger component on the other side of the world originated.
While occasional regional issues would flare up because of a natural disaster, labour strike or political crisis, the global supply chain largely hummed along smoothly. But COVID-19 upended everything, causing massive ripple effects as factories shut down and parts once taken for granted became much harder to come by.