The DPA, (Defense Production Act) to be sure, is far from an instantaneous solution.
The supply chain is global, complex, and is now confronted with trade restrictions, travel limitations, closed seaports and reduced personnel. Procurement relationships, forged over decades, will be strained as materials and components are diverted to prioritized factories. It could be months before supply meets demand.
A majority of the plastics, chemicals, fabrics and other materials used in PPE and medical equipment must be imported. Manufacturing lines that are calibrated for one product aren’t easily adapted to produce a different item. Most of all in 2020, the global supply chain has adopted just-in-time (JIT), build-to-order (BTO), lean, and other practices that keep inventory at a minimum. There is no magic “on” button that will fulfill healthcare needs.
Here’s a breakdown of the various elements that make up a supply chain.