If there’s one good thing to be said about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it exposed major vulnerabilities in the global supply chain. Though that might not seem like a win when taken at face value, it’s important to remember that you can’t fix something unless you know it’s broken. To that end, COVID-19 has enabled suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, shippers, and carriers alike to identify and resolve long-standing issues and create a stronger supply chain for the future.
With all of that said, COVID-19 is far from the only major threat to the global supply chain. In fact, one of the biggest threats is internal. Unplanned downtime — that is, downtime that occurs unexpectedly, often due to equipment failure — can bring manufacturing production to a screeching halt, which can, in turn, have downstream effects on the entire supply chain. Fortunately, thanks to major technological advancements and the emergence of the smart factory, smart maintenance has made it possible to predict, plan for, and even avoid unexpected downtime.