By Max Clarke

The global manufacturing industry must act now to protect and prepare their supply chain matrix against a ticking timebomb of financial instability, warns a new PwC report out today.

In today’s new report, Achieving excellence in production and supply, PwC has identified five key areas for manufacturers to take heed of in today’s turbulent times. These are: skills and talent, addressing lifecycle opportunities, linking demand planning with the rest of the supply chain, identifying and acting on supply chain risks, and stronger collaboration between suppliers and customers.

Supply chains and the manufacturing industry have been on a rollercoaster ride,” said Barry Misthal, PwC’s global industrial manufacturing head, “hit by skyrocketing prices of oil and commodities, high levels of debt, weak demand and tight credit. This report asks manufacturers if they have the right tools in place to adapt and prepare for potential future risks. The reality is many do not know who their high risk suppliers are or where the cracks and loose chinks are in their supply chains.”

Global supply chains were thrown into turmoil following on from the Japanese earthquake. Xirallic, a popular pigment which gives cars a pearly shine, was manufactured at just one factory in the world, the Onahama plant near the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan. The plant had to close causing some car makers to slow production or halt completely but is now back on track for recovery, highlighting the need for the industry to have a radical re-think about current business strategies

“With the current volatility of geopolitical, economic and financial markets, businesses need to research their risk areas and mitigate where they can in areas such as lifecycles, demand planning and skill shortages,” continued Misthal.

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