How do you keep a global operation running in a time of global disruption?
You’d be forgiven if 2020-2021 wasn’t the time in history when you opened a business that depends on supply lines that stretch across regional and even country borders. Between the pandemic slowing production of key parts and supplies and logistical headaches such as 2021’s Suez Canal blockage, it might be simpler to tighten your focus and leave the big thinking to a later year. And that doesn’t even take into account comparatively more mundane disruptions like hurricanes and floods.
Jon Solberg, a Packaging Specialist with Anduro Manufacturing, did not have that luxury. Anduro, one of the largest and most successful BOPP bag manufacturers in the world has dependencies — raw materials, assembly, shipping, both inbound and out — throughout the world. A flowchart of how all the pieces fit together would require a bigger whiteboard than most of us have.
And yet, in 2020 and 2021, Anduro did not miss a beat. There were no delays. Customers never had to wonder when — or if — their bags would make it to them on time. And, at the heart of it all, Anduro’s team knew that they were well set for pretty much whatever the past 18 months threw at them.
“So many things could have gone wrong,” Solberg says. “That they didn’t is a testament to the quality of the team we’ve assembled and to the power of planning and relationships.”
Managing the raw materials that are needed to make Anduro’s bags — assuring that there are enough materials on-hand to satisfy all ongoing contracts, as well as one-off requests that come in all the time — is a day-to-day discipline that was built, tested and evolved over the years. Solberg says that preparing reliable systems and logistics for the company in normal times was the best possible preparation for the volatile supply chains of recent years.
“The way we’re set up at Anduro, we’re actually at an advantage when things get tight, as they did in 2020,” Solberg says.
Why? By setting up in Honduras, Anduro was able to leverage closer supply channels along with what turned out to be a killer feature:
“It’s just five days from Honduras to Gulfport for our containers.”
Unlike manufacturers set up in Asia, Anduro, with its positioning in the Caribbean, has a shorter trip to a less-crowded inbound port in the US. “With the combination of container, rail and truck, we’re able to deliver reorders to our contract clients in 45 days or less, all without the headaches of shipping from Asia.”
But what about the next disruption? The one that nobody sees coming?
“It’s one thing to have a solid system in place,” Solberg says, “but when things start to get a little crazy it’s important to have outstanding relationships in place.”
Without giving away too much of the Secret Sauce, Solberg notes that there is a benefit to being a long-time buyer in quantity for the commodities that are essential to the bags Anduro manufactures for its customers.
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