Inflation is spiking, supply chains remain constrained, freight rates are near all-time highs, and parts for production remain elusive. This feels like the same state we were in 12 months ago (one year into the pandemic), and nothing seems to have changed. Our 2022 AlixPartners Disruption Index shows that 69% of CEOs are concerned with supply chain disruptions, but less than half are taking long-term action in response. Instead, crisis management appears to have become the new normal with no immediate relief in sight.


  1.  寻找零部件以满足订单需求
  2.  抵御通胀和保障利润
  3.  构建供应链弹性机制

In today’s environment, companies are faced with three challenges:

  1. Finding parts to meet the production backlog
  2. Inflation defense and margin management
  3. Building resiliency into their supply chains


At first blush, it would appear that if companies can weather the immediate problems of parts shortages and inflation pressures, they would be able to focus on building resiliency as the business climate stabilizes. However, with no immediate relief in sight for shortages and inflation, companies might be better served by addressing longer-term resiliency while tackling the issues that are front and center.


We've identified several keys to success through our work with many companies facing these challenges.

Managing shortages


  1.  建立准确和动态可视的短缺问题看板
  2.  具备找到替代性二级市场来源的能力
  3.  通过快速内部审批和支付机制,保证现货市场零部件供应
  4.  主动采用技术变革作为解决方案

Our experience, even in this environment, shows that it is possible to find parts, but it requires companies to exercise different muscles and be agile in their response. This includes:

  1. Building accurate and dynamic visibility into shortages
  2. Ability to find alternate secondary market sources
  3. Fast internal approvals & payment mechanisms to secure spot market parts
  4. Willingness to leverage technical changes as solutions


The key to agility in large companies is how quickly and effectively they can stand up a “Control Tower” that has the capabilities and the executive empowerment to coordinate decisions across functional horizontals (Demand planning, Production planning, S&OP, Sourcing, Logistics, Finance and Engineering) and Product / Business Unit verticals.

Inflation defense and margin management


Record-setting commodity price increases over the past 24 months have meant that companies have to deal with and absorb price increases from suppliers. At the same time, companies have to work with their customers to pass-through price increases to ensure margin preservation.


Unless this is done in a structured and dynamic manner, the effort to manage margins will result in suboptimal margin capture. Successfully managing margin in today’s environment requires companies to develop strong capabilities in three key areas:

  1. 动态成本分析:企业需要具备根据快速变化的成本要素计算产品成本的能力,从而了解市场变化对利润产生的真正影响。此外,企业还需要了解市场对主要采购零部件产生的成本影响,并做好与供应商谈判的准备,有效应对无理的成本上涨要求。
  2. 供应商谈判:企业应通过有效的流程和结构化谈判(基于应当成本分析)来防范供应商价格上涨,从而缓解通胀。
  3. 成本与定价:企业应实施有力的流程管理,并通过有效的终端客户转嫁机制来应对突如其来的通胀。
  1. Dynamic input cost mapping: Companies need to be able to calculate product costs based on rapidly changing input costs to understand the true impact on margin. Also, companies need to understand the true cost impact on their essential purchased parts and be in a position to negotiate with suppliers to defend against unwarranted cost increases
  2. Supplier negotiations: Companies should defend against supplier price increases with effective processes and structured negotiations (supported by should-costs and analytics) to mitigate inflation
  3. Cost-to-Price: Companies should implement strong processes and manage undefended inflation through effective pass-through mechanisms to the end customer

Supply chain resiliency


Parts shortages, long delays, and volatile inflation have highlighted the risk in supply chains and the need to build more resiliency to safeguard against similar situations in the future. Building resiliency requires companies to pursue risk mitigation across three dimensions – building flexibility into the existing supply base, developing visibility into potential future disruptions, and building agility into organizational processes:

  1. 结构性风险:公司当前的供应基础体现了过往为追求特定目标而采取的一系列措施的综合成果。这些目标可能与多种要素相关,如成本、在特定地理区域的曝光度、技术要求、本地化或其他离散目标等。为了构建弹性,公司需要用务实的解决方案来改进品类战略,建立灵活的供应基础。
  2.  事件风险:某些品类(例如:半导体芯片、特种化学品)更容易受到全球性事件影响,因为供应链的某些上游节点(1级到X级)受这些事件影响的风险更高。对于这些品类,形成对上游供应链的可见性以及监测全球事件对这些供应链节点的影响,可以作为潜在问题的主要预警指标。及早形成对在潜在问题的可见性,能够为企业提供单点解决方案,从而减少供应链中断带来的影响。
  3. 组织风险:在执行领导层的支持下成立被赋予职权的SWAT小组,应对中断的供应链状况,制定跨职能决策(采购、财务、工程、销售与运营计划)来寻找解决方案。此外,对于对供应商采取资格限制的典型采购流程,需要从其他角度审视认证、开发和合作速度,以缓解供应链瓶颈。总而言之,企业必须在组织流程和政策中建立灵活性,以降低这些风险。
  1. Structural Risk: Companies’ current supply bases reflect the desired end state due to deliberate actions taken in pursuit of specific objectives. These objectives could have been cost, exposure to certain geographic regions, technical requirements, localizations, or other discrete objectives. To build resiliency, companies will need to revamp category strategies with pragmatic solutions that build flexibility into the supply base
  2. Event Risk: Certain categories (e.g.: semiconductor chips, specialty chemicals) are more susceptible to global events because certain upstream nodes in the supply chain (Tier 1 through X) are more at risk from these events. For these categories, developing upstream supply chain visibility and monitoring the effects of global events on these supply chain nodes can serve as lead indicators of potential issues to come. Having early visibility into potential issues, will provide companies to develop point solutions to reduce the effect of the disruptions
  3. Organizational Risk: Tackling a disruptive supply chain situation requires organizations to stand-up empowered SWAT teams supported by executive leadership to make cross-functional decisions (Sourcing, Finance, Engineering, S&OP) to find solutions. Also, typical sourcing processes designed to be restrictive for supplier qualifications will need to be viewed from an additional lens of the speed of qualification, development, and collaboration to mitigate supply chain bottlenecks. To summarize, companies will need to build agility into their organizational processes and policies to mitigate these risks


Those companies that will succeed are the ones that recognize the need to focus on the short-term problems while developing the resiliency to battle the next disruption as clearly it is no longer a question of if but when.


Read more of our insights on supply chain disruptions here.