Monday April 27, 2020 |Notes

Logistics & manufacturing to battle pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a number of logistics and manufacturing challenges on both the demand and supply sides. To best overcome the pandemic, these supply chain issues will need to be rethought and better optimized for flexibility and speed.

Consider some of the current inefficiencies: millions of people having trouble getting food - and there are farms essentially forced to dump milk, eggs, and other crops each day Customers want to order groceries and are unable to get them delivered by Amazon - the largest logistics company that also owns a nationwide grocer US needs to conduct 500,000 tests per day and we don't have basic materials to do so We will need mass production of treatment and vaccinations - and don't have capabilities of doing so

I've been inspired by stories of people using unexpected ways to solve some of these issues, including restaurants utilizing their suppliers to act as additional grocers, librarians and teenagers using 3D printers to create PPE materials, and grocers working with farms to donate food directly.

This is just the start of overcoming this pandemic and the issues above will not go away anytime soon. New breakthroughs are not necessary. There are ways to innovate and solve these problems using existing technologies.

3D printing looks especially interesting for solving manufacturing issues. It's an area that's been overlooked for yeas and seems especially prescient when time if of the utmost importance, worldwide trade has slowed, and demands will rapidly change over time. Those qualities can be solved with high-quality 3D-printing that can make materials from number of locations across the country.

Overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic will take an enormous coordinated effort and it's imperative to improve logistics and production, at all levels to do so effectively.

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