This report investigates a growing multi-sector focus on Supply Chain Optimization (SCO) — tools and techniques for integrated design, engineering and production, enhanced information sharing, and more collaborative decision-making between Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers.



Selected excerpts from the recommendations section:

Companies should start by developing a strategy. Although 90 percent of large manufacturers recognize the importance of their supply chains to business success—after all, 50-70 percent of their costs are in the supply chain—very few have a supply chain strategy.

The MEP program has become an indispensable part of the total U.S. manufacturing ecosystem, and should be funded accordingly. No private, purely profit-dependent companies could successfully fill the position held by MEP.

Small Business Administration could create a loan fund specifically targeted at smaller manufacturers to upgrade their production equipment, networks, sensors, and information systems

Manufacturing USA institutes, MEP centers, and others can help define a broad set of skills that will prepare new manufacturing workers to adapt to new technologies quickly, develop specific curricula for these skill sets, and help to disseminate these curricula to educational institutions.

An exploding variety of technical tools makes the potential for connected supply chains much greater than in the past. However, integrated changes in management and technology are needed to achieve the vision of seamlessly connected firms, equipment, and processes embodied in ideas such as Industry 4.0. Adopting these tools poses a number of challenges, about which more research is needed.



MForesight released the report in June 2017 and has engaged strategic partners, including NAM and the Senate Competitiveness Caucus, to broadly disseminate the report.








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