Understanding Supply Chain Disruption
“Supply Chains Disrupted: Suppliers and Consumers Suffer Under Pandemic”
Does this headline look familiar? Chances are you’ve seen something like this in the news regularly lately. Chances are even better that you’ve experienced the effects of supply chain disruption: late mail, suppliers short of stock, empty shelves at the grocer, etc.
Supply Chain Disruption
There are a lot of ways the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the supply chain which ideally looks something like this:
Raw Materials → Factory → Warehouse → Distributor → Customer
The supply chain looks simple enough, but things can go wrong every step of the way. The country that exports the wood may have closed its borders. An outbreak at a factory slows production. Stores restricted to online business suffer decreased sales and increased returns. Consumers limit spending due to furlough or job loss.
How Does Thomas Medical Overcome Supply Chain Disruption?
In the midst of all this, how does Thomas Medical keep things running as smoothly as possible?
The primary factor is that our products are 100% Made in the USA. This alone eliminates a lot of the potential blocks in the supply chain. But it’s more than just that.
Consider a standard HS Catheter. Our competitors produce the individual components abroad in countries such as China, Mexico, and Pakistan. This may save on cost, but it subjects the catheter to unnecessary risks, worsened by the COVID-induced supply chain disruption. Sterility can also be compromised not only en route, but at the domestic assembly centers where components are unpackaged and repackaged before shipping to customers. Even companies that advertise themselves as “Made in the USA” might only have catheters that are “Assembled in the USA.”
Thomas Medical avoids these risks altogether. How? By establishing a supply chain committed to production solely in the USA.
Producing from domestic suppliers, assembling, and sterilizing in the USA ensures the quality and safety of every Thomas Medical product (especially our stop-cocks which are often overlooked by other manufacturers). By keeping our labor force close to home, we speed up the supply chain because it’s simply that much shorter. In a nut-shell: supply chain disruptions affect Thomas Medical less than other medical device manufacturers of women’s health products.
No one is immune to the problems of supply chain disruption, but by staying vigilant and tightening our links, we can better prepare ourselves for future disruptions, whatever they may be. In the meantime, we’re all doing our best to make sure our customers and their patients have the best quality products, made in the USA, exactly when they need them.