TCU Neeley Center for Supply Chain Innovation’s Executive Director shares insights into our current global supply chain issues while teaching future leaders in the industry.
January 18, 2022
By Nicholas Ferrandino
Morgan Swink, the Eunice and James L. West Chair in Supply Chain Management and executive director of the Center for Supply Chain Innovation at the TCU Neeley School of Business, was featured on NBC DFW, covering the current state of the global supply chain.
Swink discusses what events and practices led to worldwide supply shortages during the pandemic, as well as what measures businesses can take to avoid these situations in the future.
The global supply chain is a system that has remained with the same outdated structure for the past several decades. The common practice for modern companies is to purchase their resources from the cheapest available (often overseas) supplier to improve profit margins and keep prices low.
However, relying too heavily on these singular avenues has led to a fragile balancing act between demand and supply, where pulling one loose thread can cause the whole tapestry to unravel.
“When something goes wrong in one part of the system, it has a tendency to ripple throughout,” Swink said. “Fragility has always been there. I just don’t think it’s been tested the way it has been right now.”
To bring the global supply chain closer to the modern age, Swink emphasizes the value of businesses diversifying their channels for obtaining market goods.
By connecting with a variety of suppliers from different countries and utilizing more local sources, businesses can be better prepared for market upsets created by large-scale disasters. Though it may cost them more on a year-to-year basis, creating a larger, more well-rounded network of suppliers will help companies avoid the massive gridlock and financial losses they are experiencing today.
“We’re teaching our students that the current system doesn’t take into account the long-term risks,” Swink said. “We need to start thinking about supply chains, and maybe make choices that are not as efficient as they could be for today but preserve some flexibility, for the future,” Swink said.
Read the full article featuring Swink here.