To respond to demand for ventilators in the earliest days of the COVID-19 crisis, General Motors sourced components from 70 suppliers around the world and trained 250 skilled workers in just one week to create an assembly line at a Kokomo, Ind., facility. Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president, global manufacturing, told the New Yorker the feat was “miraculous.”
For companies that don’t have GM’s scale and relationships with vendors, the art of getting products made during the pandemic has been especially challenging. The crisis exposed weaknesses in companies’ supply chains, which have become increasingly global, and raised questions about the need for more resiliency and redundancy in these systems.
GM’s Johnson and Matthew Putman, cofounder and CEO of manufacturing tech company Nanotronics, will lead a free Fast Company webinar on innovation and modernization of the supply chain on Tuesday, July 28 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants may register here.