Are you ready for another federal agency, this one devoted promoting the interests and well-being of the nation’s supply chain?
Mike Crum, a professor and Ruan Chair of Supply Chain Management at Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business, and several of his academic colleagues believe that is just what we need.
The new federal Office of Supply Chain would centralize and unify federal policies and activities impacting private sector supply chains, they say.
It would focus on three high-level (or macro-level) objectives of national supply chain policy: supply chain security, supply chain efficiency and supply chain resilience.
As the federal government grew over the years, we ended up with several departments and agencies creating policies and passing regulations that impact the private sector supply chains, he says.
“The impact of individual policies and regulations and the interactions among them on total supply chain performance usually was not considered since no one government entity was accountable for overall supply chain performance,” Crum notes.
He argues that medical and other supply shortages during the Coronavirus pandemic showed how dependent we are on a supply chain that stretches across the world.
One area that deserves particular attention is transportation because it accounts for a very large percentage of total supply chain costs and creates a large part of the variability in supply chain performance, Crum says.
“Companies have done a really good job improving and controlling manufacturing and operations within their organizations,” he points out.
“However, once you add transportation to the equation, now you have time and distance, freight mingling with passenger vehicles, weather, all these different factors, that are not as easy to control as your own manufacturing systems.”