Corona has brought some production lines or even entire productions to a standstill or severely restricted them. Delivery times have been extended or parts could not be ordered. Currently, many companies are ramping up their production again and thus starting the ramp-up. What is in the warehouse, what is missing? What about suppliers, partners and customers? The industry is currently facing many questions; a ramp-up in this complexity with so many asynchronous supply chain conditions and uncertainties has never been seen before. You should consider these ten Do’s for your Ramp-Up!

1.Speed and Agility are Required
Set up a crisis management team where all the relevant information comes together so that decisions can be made quickly and without red tape.

2. Collaboration is Important – Like Never Before
Only those who coordinate in partnership with the players in the supply chain will be able to manage the ramp-up efficiently!

3. Bring Transparency to Your Supply Chain
In order to initiate the ramp-up in a targeted manner, transparency about the flow of goods is indispensable. Keep an eye on your customers as well as your suppliers and sub-suppliers. This is the only way to weigh up requirements and time frames.

4. Outline a Picture of Your Supply Chain Status
Due to the successive loss of production and transport capacities around the world and the close interdependence of supply chains, the processes in the supply chains have come to a standstill in an asynchronous state. Find out which stocks are available at which ports, transhipment centres and locations.

5. Stay Up to Date
Regularly evaluate political and economic developments with regard to their relevance for your supply chain. Rules and bans, hygiene measures, border regulations and many other aspects can have an impact on your supply chain.

6. Clarify the Demand Situation
Talk to your sales experts in the regions to find out the needs of the customers in the current situation. In which regions is a return to normality expected when?

7. Identify the Critical Pathways
Not every unwanted condition in your supply chain must have an immediate or serious impact on your ramp-up. Therefore, always evaluate the relevance of current and expected challenges: Which parts are critical to get your production up and running again? Which of your suppliers or sub-suppliers is in a difficult economic or financial situation? On which routes are transport bottlenecks to be expected?

8. Bring Demand and Capacity Back Into Balance
Develop measures to gradually change the asynchronous state of your supply chain back to a synchronized state. In doing so, take into account the critical paths and the regionally varying expectations of your customers.

9. Support Your Partners
The loss of a critical supply chain player can have a huge impact on the performance of the entire supply chain. Therefore support your partners within the scope of your possibilities – by providing the best possible information transparency as well as the willingness to grant financial leeway.

10. Keep Your Start-up Planning Flexible
Due to the large number of dependencies and imponderables, it is important to keep an eye on various future scenarios. Simulation tools for supply networks can be a valuable aid in securing planning decisions for complex supply chains and different scenarios.

Starting the ramp-up will not be an easy task. With the right structure and a transparent exchange, you will master it.

Marco Motta
Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik
mit seinen Kollegen: Saskia Wagner-Sardesai, Josef Kamphues, Philipp Klinik