We’re Manufacturing Supply Chain Solutions
May 27, 2021
3 min read
The already visible fragility of global supply chains became undeniable when a 200,000 ton cargo ship wedged itself into one of the world’s most important shipping waterways. The Ever Given boat blocked the Suez Canal for 6 days and delayed overseas shipments of everything from semiconductors to canned foods to garden gnomes.
With global cargo traffic at a standstill, the world was left questioning the future of overseas supply chains and searching for plausible local manufacturing solutions. Long before the Ever Given gained meme-status notoriety, Baru founder Tino Go has been eager for an alternative to manufacturing supply chains.
Our solution: globalization made local.
The inherent difficulty with managing a global supply chain is the inability to quickly shift or change in response to outside factors. Events outside of our control (extreme weather, cyberattacks, supplier disruptions, or a really big boat) can halt shipments indefinitely. Other events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can overload supply chains with a sudden spike in demand for certain manufactured goods.
When the Ever Given got stuck (and this is the last reference I promise) not only was its removal complicated and expensive, but the rerouting and reorganizing undergone by multiple companies and manufacturers must have been a logistical nightmare. Even when supply routes are relatively calm, it is an overly complex and lengthy process. Product prototypes take valuable months to make, ship, test, plan, and re-make.
Global trade has increased significantly over the past 30 years. But this trend towards globalization has left companies at the mercy of numerous supply chain risks. And companies have taken notice. The last few years have demonstrated a deceleration of cross-border trade and overseas manufacturing. For some companies, whose customer base is largely in one region or country, the move to localization and local manufacturing is both doable and beneficial. For others, whose products require complex components and manufacturing facilities large enough to meet their customers’ demands, simply reshoring services is not practical.
What’s needed is a fundamental shift in understanding of supply chains--a new paradigm that utilizes globalization and global technologies to facilitate local manufacturing.
Local manufacturing is more than just a “Made in the US” tag. It means shifting from a supply-driven model to service-driven, where the customer is placed at the forefront of manufacturing decisions.
Moving production physically closer to the target market also brings the company metaphorically closer to their customer. It allows you to quickly adapt to changing preferences and market conditions. It provides a hands-on approach that can solve any unexpected issues as they arise. It helps ensure good working conditions of those participating in the production chain. Manufacturing partners really are partners, not just a means to a product.
With Baru, we’ve taken local manufacturing to the next level. By combining automation, craftsmanship, and virtual customization, we’re able to send manufacturing instructions to workshops local to the customer. Aside from the economic and logistic benefits, our system works to better support local communities and curb global CO2 emissions. All our furniture items are custom made to order. And our manufacturing model has proven to be both environmentally and economically sustainable.
Across the nation and around the world people have been advocating for more transparent and eco-friendly commerce. Companies and governments alike are realizing that global supply chains are ultimately unsustainable. We don’t mean to suggest that globalization is inherently evil. Globalization is a powerful phenomenon that’s made manufacturing convenient and efficient at a truly massive scale. But these global supply chains are not infallible. Their massive size makes them more prone to massive problems. And when they do get stuck, it takes a massive effort to fix.
Take it from us: the move away from global supply chains is a welcome one. Local manufacturing means faster cycle times, more custom options, cheaper costs, and a commitment to delivering value.