As a foreword to the report Make It Happen: The Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, Hon. Karen Andrew, the former Minister of Industry, mentions that:
“History has shown that through Adversity, greatness can be borne. As Australians, it’s something we know all too well.” She adds that “by fundamentally addressing supply chain issues, not just plugging gaps, we can build resilience and enhance our ability to deal with challenges in the future. Making us more secure.”
With the Australian Government taking the necessary initiatives to make manufacturing a major income earner for the nation and restart the economy, it is evident that supply chain resilience will play a significant role in achieving these goals.
In accordance with this initiative, forward-looking manufacturers are already making their move towards building a resilient supply chain. A 2020 report from the Australasian Supply Chain Institute (ASCI) reveals the importance of supply chain management and how leaders employ innovative strategic decisions for overall supply chain efficiencies.
At Entech Electronics, we’re also highly optimistic about this Modern Manufacturing Initiative. For the past three years, we witnessed an average of 30 per cent growth per year. We helped several Australian and New Zealand-based companies bring their production back home. For many ANZ manufacturers, we also helped in obtaining significant control and gain visibility into their offshore production during this period.
The Role of Entech's Key Capabilities in Building Supply Chain Resilience
Entech’s Operation Control Tower in Adelaide
In 2016, after 30 years of being in business in Australia, and 10 years of running our own factory offshore, at Entech we decided to integrate our ERP, WMS, TMS to establish an operation control tower in Adelaide. The vision and plan behind this initiative was to support both our local and offshore production as well as all our design partners more effectively.
We invested over 1.5 million AUD for our new ERP system and consolidated all the data and reports at our HQ in Adelaide. This integration is helping bring more visibility in the supply chain process, enabling stakeholders to make better decisions faster.
With the operation control tower, our Adelaide production facility is growing significantly and at a remarkably fast pace since the past three years.
Entech’s Offshore Supply Chain Office
With the COVID-19 outbreak, many ANZ manufacturers lost certain degree of control and access over their offshore supply chains. At Entech, we were able to reduce this gap and respond better to the situation through our offshore supply chain office operated by a dedicated team in Shenzhen.
Instead of relying on ERP and normal distribution channels during these trying times, the team directly communicates with part manufacturers, allowing us to address supply chain issues and handle challenges flagged by our Operation Control Tower and clients more effectively.
Entech’s Offshore Production Plant
Our 100-per cent-owned manufacturing plant in Shenzhen is operational since last 14 years. Led by David Whitehouse, our General Manager, the plant is getting close to reach a team of 300 at the moment. This growing team and ground experience of our GM is enabling us to access valuable insights and bargaining powers.
Our investments in offshore production plant and offshore supply chain office is enabling the purchasing teams to build stronger relationships across the supply chain networks. This relationship stretches beyond distribution partners to senior representatives of manufacturers.
How Our Offshore Capabilities Can Help ANZ Manufacturers
Here are some of the ways our offshore supply chain office and our operation control tower are helping businesses navigate the vulnerabilities associated with their supply chain in ANZ.
Bringing More Visibility within the Supply Chain
While Design for Availability is a hot topic within the manufacturing sphere, this top-down approach is not possible without knowing what is available when. It is also crucial to verify how reliable the information on part availability is.
Is the information coming straight away from authorised components distributors? Can authorised distributors fulfill their commitments? How reliable are the shipping lines? What if the government imposes lockdown restrictions, or the world faces another pandemic? Success in these conditions requires an agile and adaptable supply chain design.
Through our operation control tower, we can bring more visibility and share information about components’ availability in the current global shortage. As a result, our design partners and end customers have better synchronisation and alignment in planning, material selection, ensuring better cash flow and risk management.
Keeping the Inventory Levels in Check
One of the signs of an efficient supply chain is how quickly it can sense and react to real-time demand across a network of customers, suppliers, and employees. This demand-driven supply chain (DDSC) requires companies that form a part of the supply chain network to work closely, share information, and collaborate often to avoid the bullwhip effects.
Similar to the way Tsunamis get detected by open-ocean buoys and coastal tide gauges, we consider every single purchasing office, customer, supplier, and part distributor as one of the buoys. When serving 120 active clients across ANZ, if we notice the lead time of a component or specific materials pushing out, we notify all our clients about the shortage and let them know how to plan for optimum inventory levels.
Scale and Boost Supply Chain Resilience with Entech
Entech is the local Australian procurement and DFM office. While a big part of our purchasing team is stationed offshore, our goal is to keep manufacturing onshore and enable R&D innovation in AU and NZ.
In many cases, we also convinced our customers not to take their production offshore. We showed them that we could source all the materials at the most competitive rate and bring them locally. Instead of sending the entire production offshore, they can use our services for 30 per cent of labour-intensive production offshore and complete the balance 70 per cent locally.
At Entech, we’re consistently finding ways for our ANZ clients to reduce their dependence on offshore. Our growing supply chain team, operation control tower, and offshore supply chain office is one of the steps in this direction.
Contact us if you wish to learn more about how we can support you.
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