Key Elements of Maintaining a Stable Supply Chain During Covid-19

Many inquire as to how Quasar was able to successfully maintain a stable supply chain during Covid-19. While Quasar had a number of internal challenges to face in restarting operations after China’s coronavirus lockdown, Quasar’s China-based plants also had to deal with several critical external challenges.

One of the most significant was that many of our China-based suppliers were unable to resume operations themselves. That threatened our own supply chain and our ability to resume operations even as we got the majority of our employees back to the factory. In many cases, suppliers weren’t able to manage to return their workforce with the same degree of success as Quasar. The return rate of Quasar’s factory employees was nearly 90%, while our suppliers had an average of 15%.

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How did Quasar Manage to Stabilize a Supply Chain?

Staying Ahead of Supply Shortages

In order to maintain a stable supply chain during Covid-19, Quasar adopted an approach that is contrary to the natural instinct to fix what can be fixed now and figure it out the rest later when things “calm down”.

In essence, this how Quasar stayed one step ahead so that restructuring was not required to begin with.

Active Involvement on a Consistent Basis

Dagwin Decru, General Manager of Quasar’s China operations, notes that inventory updates on key device components were included in the daily meetings of the response team. It was critical to know the status of key suppliers especially when materials were running low. We increased our baseline stock of all essential materials for current orders as well as for coronavirus-related devices. We also worked with China-based suppliers to ensure that our purchase orders took priority over those of others. By reopening early we were able to get a head start on ordering components before other Chinese manufacturers.

The Importance of A Global Perspective

A similar strategy was implemented in order to stay ahead of the pandemic as it began to spread around the globe. Quasar ordered supplies from overseas manufacturers before they began to shut down. Our production materials needed to be delivered to Shenzhen within a limited time frame as the virus implications became clearer.

Increasing Supply Chain Resilience

These measures largely ensured that Quasar was able to resume normal operations within just a few weeks of reopening. However, they also demonstrated that additional steps are needed in the future to increase the resilience of our supply chain.

Diversify By Region

We learned that having backup suppliers located in the same country as our primary suppliers is not a great resilience strategy. The revised strategy diversified our suppliers by region so that reliable options are available across multiple regions.

A New Manufacturing Facility

In addition, our operations will be made more flexible by the addition of our newest manufacturing facility in Thailand. This facility will be built to the same standard as our Shenzhen factory and could potentially handle a shift in production if a lockdown or another disruption occurs in China in the future.

Coming Out Stronger Than Before

Together, these steps will ensure that Quasar can not only replicate but exceed our response to supply issues in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone has learned vital lessons from the pandemic. Going forward, Quasar will be better able to adapt to regional and country-wide disruptions and continue normal operations throughout this and future crisis.

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