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emphasis on creating a flexible global
supply chain that enables them to respond
quickly to economic or market changes.
Ultimately, such preparation will help
manufacturers improve their ability to
handle spikes or dips in customer
demand, better manage costs, and gain a
competitive edge. In fact, a key step to
manufacturers’ business recovery,
according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers
Manufacturing Barometer
survey, is
efficient management of their global sup-
ply chains.
Although there are signs of an upturn,
managing costs remains paramount for
manufacturers and their customers. One
way that companies can drive home cost
savings is by taking a close look at where
it all starts: the plant floor. The truth is,
most manufacturing facilities have sev-
eral areas of misused space. This wasted
real estate means that these companies
can’t operate as efficiently as possible.
So, in today’s economic climate where
orders still ebb and flow, being able to
accommodate sudden spikes in orders
is crucial.
Increased global trade has forced logistics
providers to offer even more shipping
options that can move goods to customers
all over the world more quickly and cost-
In the past, manufacturers that needed
to ship products across the globe tradi-
tionally relied on one of two options:
ocean freight or air freight. Ocean freight
proved to be the most cost-effective and
efficient option – especially considering
the sheer volume of goods that a freight
vessel can carry. The downside was that
goods could spend weeks in transit.
Conversely, shipping goods via air freight
saves time. However, it is more expen-
sive. Thus, for goods that have longer
cycle times, air freight may not be worth
the cost.
“One clear insight came out of the recession: Globalization is
significantly impacting manufacturers’ dependence on international
partners… when one nation’s economy deteriorates, the entire
global supply chain is affected.”