How 3M’s Springfield Plant Adopted New Raw Material and Supply Chain System to Combat Shortages
In response to supply chain problems and their impact on the plant’s production and distribution since 2021, 3M’s Springfield plant has found a way to lessen the backorder impact, improve production and strengthen its supply system by taking an alternative approach to it.
Instead of continuing with their long-term supply system, which was based on using only single suppliers with single-source raw materials, the plant chose to switch to a range of carefully tested and qualified suppliers with second sources for raw materials which would meet 3M standards.
According to the company, the change has resulted in better production levels, and more continuous distribution of the adhesives, adhesive films, and coatings produced at the Springfield plant, both of which had been dropping since the shortage of raw materials began and led to backorders and delivery delays. The plant reports that since using a wider range of qualified sources and different carefully tested raw materials, they have also been able to upgrade a large number of products which have been on the shelves products.
3M reports that the decision to make the change followed the plans and the results of the investigations carried out by a multidisciplinary team made up of various plant leaders. Laboratory vetting and extended sample testing were carried out to qualify the suppliers, and to ensure that the new raw materials and processes would be similar enough to those used before the shortage began to maintain the quality and integrity of the products and meet the 3M requirements.