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Lean as an Alternative to Global Outsourcing?

February 11th, 2011

It may not be completely intuitive, but  a recent article on SupplyChainBrain.com posed this very question.  The article talks about how manufacturers have, for some time, being willing to rely on extremely cumbersome and sometimes risky global logistics processes in order to achieve a single objective:  to save on manufacturing labor and increase their ability to compete.

However, there is a realization among more and more manufacturers that there are some very real downsides to these complex global supply chains and that an alternative approach is viable  – an approach known for many years as lean production.

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When I saw this article, I remembered an interview I saw on CNBC earlier this week.  The CEO of Boeing discussed how too broad of an offshore, horizontal supply chain that incorporated too much engineering was to blame for the massive delays in their new 787 deliveries.  He talked about how he would be on-shoring more of his supply chain.  He didn’t use the word lean, but he was talking about exactly what this article discusses.

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

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