As much havoc as the ongoing global semiconductor shortage has caused in automotive, consumer electronics and other high-profile markets, manufacturers were bound to draw extra scrutiny and second-guessing for how they manage their supply chains.
Even as chip manufacturers were mobilizing to add new production capacity and as the Biden Administration was contemplating government action to prevent future shortages, the shortcomings of the computer chip supply chain had already been exposed by a confluence of events, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one likes to hear ‘I told you so,’ but organizations could have done a better job planning for these shortages. Instead, poor decision-making prevailed,” supply chain experts Bindiya Vakil and Tom Linton assert in a recent Harvard Business Review column, identifying automakers’ aggressive lean inventory practices and lack of visibility into broader supply-demand dynamics as among those shortcomings. As a result, they write, automakers “lost out to more nimble electronics manufacturers that had visibility into the bigger picture and longstanding relationships with semiconductor manufacturers.”