As the manufacturing sector continues to be hard hit with the impacts of COVID-19, companies are increasingly seeking partners with robust supply chain solutions and proven experience for navigating disruption, increasing resilience, and preparing for a new future.

At Pivot International, we’re at the forefront of delivering solutions to the current sourcing crisis. For nearly 50 years, we’ve been helping our partners overcome the toughest procurement, product development, and manufacturing challenges. As an Essential and Critical Supplier with 200,000 square feet of domestic and offshore manufacturing capability, we’ve emerged in this unprecedented time of challenge as an industry leader for equipping companies to successfully navigate and surmount disruption.

Product developers and manufacturers committed to providing their partners with 360-degree solutions to the sourcing crisis while also helping them “innovate forward” need to take a five-fold approach.

1. Identify opportunities and strategically pivot to seize them.

Successful adaptation to disruption begins by moving beyond obvious challenges and identifying hidden opportunities. While damage control is always the first order of business, companies that focus too narrowly on mere survival can easily overlook opportunities for innovation. Engaging a partner with extensive experience in reconfiguring supply chains and repurposing production to seize emerging opportunities can make the difference between simply staying afloat vs. positioning your business to emerge from the crisis even stronger than before.

2. Leverage transparent, digitized supply chain solutions.

If ever there was any question about the value of supply chain transparency for mitigating and surmounting disruption, the challenges of COVID-19 have settled the matter. Product developers and manufacturers that have not made transparency a priority and therefore lack insight into all tiers of their supply chain confront their customers with unacceptable levels of risk.

Even in the best of times, supply chain digitization, which includes AI, SMT, blockchain platforms, and more, is necessary for building stability and scalability. In the worst of times, digital adoption becomes exponentially more important for managing the escalating complexity that comes with any significant crisis. Moreover, digitization delivers the agility for making rapid pivots to effectively respond to the erratic spikes and dips in demand that often follow in the wake of disruption. 

3. Closely monitor changing consumer behavior and market trends.

The post-COVID world that is emerging is bringing with it changes in consumer behavior and market trends. Translating these changes into competitive products requires both real-time intel as well as broader industry and market insights. Product developers, for example, that conduct social listening — automated analysis of their target demographic’s social media activity — can keep their finger on the pulse of changing consumer needs, preferences, pain-points, and market trends. Social listening also helps companies zero in on broader market trends, identify why they may be losing business to a competitor, and ascertain how to regain customers or earn greater loyalty.

4. Deploy design thinking to optimize both UX and manufacturability.

The most competitive, profitable products are designed with both UX (user experience) and supply chain considerations in mind. Design thinking — which applies principles of sound design not only to aesthetic and functional aspects of a product but also to its manufacturability and scalability — is becoming an increasingly valuable and sought-after competency. Recent research is demonstrating that a company’s investment in top design talent and advanced design processes can be directly traced to increased revenue.

5. Lead with a commitment to compliance and quality.

No matter how well a product is designed and optimized for manufacturability, if it doesn’t meet compliance standards and isn’t subject to strict quality controls, sunk costs are guaranteed. Implementing compliance and quality strategies and services that span the value chain is essential for ensuring that product developers exceed customer expectations throughout the product lifecycle. Look for a partner that adheres to IPC standards and CE, UL, and FCC requirements, as well as one that provides RoHS-compliant assembly as a standard offering.

The challenges of COVID-19 continue to present tough challenges, but at Pivot, we’re paving the way forward for our partners with innovative solutions. We have the experience and resources to close your inventory gaps and meet your immediate products needs, and while helping you identify opportunities for innovation that will fortify your business for the future. We bring IEC (60601-1) and ISO certifications, FDA registration, UL listing, and CSA approval. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help.