The supply chain serving the graphics industry is a vast network of organizations, people, activities, resources and even technology that manages the flow of raw materials, products and even services that become available. When the world was forced to slow down and shift how business was being conducted during the pandemic, keeping the supply chain intact and operational was an important objective for many manufacturers, including Avery Dennison.
Signage materials, including those used for pandemic safety graphics, such as Avery DennisonⓇ SC 950 and HP 750 Cut Vinyl Films and MPI 2903 Calendered Film, remained in high demand and Avery Dennison worked to provide customers with the materials essential to their business.
As we look to move past the pandemic, there are the hidden moments within supply chain management that offer a positive perspective of the supply chain’s future…and the future remains with the commitment and acknowledgement of the people and the efforts behind the scenes.
Yes, today’s manufacturing plants have robots that improve process and efficiency. However, it is the commitment of every individual working as a member of a larger team that maintains and improves productivity, even when there are outside forces making it a challenge to operate. Supply chain and procurement teams worked together, masked, socially distant and even remotely, to manufacture, ship and offer sales and customer service support when it was needed.
Sara Palinkas, Automation Specialist at Avery Dennison, shares about what it meant to become an “Essential Worker” during the pandemic, “The overall knowledge of recognizing that I'm doing something that helps makes things a little safer and in a way gives the opportunity to help return things to normal one day makes it a little easier to get up and do my part.”
Procurement teams played a vital role in helping to procure raw materials that would allow both suppliers and the manufacturing plants they serve meet growing demand. Dan Ashmore, director of procurement for Avery Dennison Graphics North America, recognized the immediacy of the impact COVID-19 shutdowns would have, coupled with other late 2020 and early 2021 challenges which included two hurricanes and a winter storm that caused a deep freeze in the deep south. The actions Dan and his procurement team took to help the supply chain continue to operate included:
- Global sourcing of components required by suppliers to produce products, including expedited air shipment. This was a situation where the global breadth of Avery Dennison divisions and resources helped to diminish the long-term impact of raw material shortages.
- C-Suite level engagement with key chemical suppliers to ensure maximum allocation of raw materials made scarce by the Texas winter freeze event.
- Procurement negotiated preferred scheduling of Avery Dennison needed materials with their suppliers, based on their global relationships.
- In some cases, suppliers focused their efforts on working with Avery Dennison to ensure their ability to service manufacturing requirements and meet customers’ high demands.
“You have to remember that what you do every day is a conscious commitment to something bigger than yourself,” said Dan about the Avery Dennison teams working to ‘make it work.’ “During the slowdown and uncertainty all around us, we knew that each order could mean a make-or-break moment for the businesses and shops we serve in the graphics community. One small delay can cause a bigger supply chain disruption, and we knew that we had to do all we could to ensure the film lines would keep on running, the expectations on the quality of the materials would be maintained and to keep them in business.”
Pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, supply chain and procurement rely on the dedication and resourcefulness of the people and processes behind the scenes. Let’s not lose sight of the dedication that helped to keep you covered throughout the past year and who will continue to make signage and advertising films available.
Learn more about Avery Dennison and cut vinyl films for signage and safety graphics, visit graphics.averydennison.com/covered.