Publisher’s Note

From the Desk of David Paulson

Welcome to the Winter 2020 edition of Supply Chain Navigator.

Remember the good old days…in 2019…when seeing grocery shelves filled with toilet tissue and disinfectant spray didn’t feel like a luxury? It’s been a year, for sure.

Given all the upheaval, it is easy to get bogged down in thinking about everything that has gone wrong over the past 10 months or so, but when you look at the news and see headlines like “Supply Chain Readies to Deliver 9 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Per Day,” we are reminded that 2020 has also been a year of incredible accomplishment.

Even as a person who has worked in and around supply chain for my whole career, I find myself truly amazed by the many examples of how supply chain organizations have executed near-Herculean tasks in the service of not only their own corporate interests, but for the good of local communities, and often people around the world. For example, in a web session earlier this month, Dave Wheeler, Chief Operating Officer of athletic footwear and apparel company New Balance explained that the company’s supply chain organization was “instrumental” in helping to not only source the supplies needed for New Balance to shift several of its production lines to make face masks, but the supply chain group actually developed the mask design. Within just one week, New Balance went from brainstorming options to mass producing masks. The company has delivered over one million masks since late March 2020.

In this issue, we are proud to bring our readers a variety of success stories and supply chain best practices, including the fantastic collaboration between America Makes and Deloitte to mobilize the 3D printing community to support critical PPE production. Lynn Torrel, Chief Procurement & Supply Chain Officer at Flex gives us an insider look at how the EMS giant applied various supply chain resilience levers to persevere amid Covid-19 disruptions, and in an exclusive interview with SCN, Molex SVP Don Hnatyshin shares his thoughts on how the tech supply chain has handled the unprecedented disruption of the global pandemic. For perspective on what’s next for global supply chains, Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Advisor Stan Aronow share insights from top CSCOs on global trade, cybersecurity, supporting the customer of the future and new ways of working.

Though digital tools and technologies like digital twins, AI and advanced analytics are most frequently cited by supply chain leaders as critical facets of their supply chain resilience strategies, it turns out more than half of supply chain organizations have yet to actively begin building their roadmaps for supply chain digital transformation, according to a recent Gartner survey. So, we asked TCU professor Morgan Swink and Deloitte’s Jeroen Kusters to give SCN readers an update on the Digital Capabilities Model for Supply Networks, a new framework that is being positioned as both a complement and alternative to the traditional SCOR model. In addition, we spoke with MIT professor David Simchi-Levi about the new Supply Chain Resilience Stress Test being developed by MIT and Accenture.

And, finally, we invite readers to share their thoughts on the role supply chain leaders can or should play in ensuring ethics in AI systems. Click here to register your opinion and see how aligned, or not, your outlook is with fellow SCN readers.

We hope you enjoy the issue and, as always, we welcome your feedback.

About Supply Chain Navigator

Supply Chain Navigator is an online journal produced by Avnet Inc. SCN provides executive readership with expert insights and best practice examples that may help them drive greater productivity, cost-efficiency, security, sustainability and profitability from their extended, global supply chains. Each issue is produced in collaboration with supply chain professionals experienced in managing complex global supply chains both upstream and downstream, as well as distinguished academics and prominent market analysts. The publication reaches more than 120,000 purchasing, supply chain, manufacturing, operations and logistics professionals throughout the global electronics industry.

Supply Chain Navigator has received a number of awards and recognitions for the high quality writing, distinct content, thought-provoking insights, including the APEX Award for Excellence (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016) in business media, a PRSA Phoenix Copper Anvil Award of Merit (2018, 2017), listing on the Feedspot Top 75 Supply Chain Blogs.

Supply Chain Navigator is produced by Avnet’s Velocity business unit. Velocity is Avnet’s Mode 2 supply chain innovation group. Velocity architects cutting-edge, discrete, end-to-end supply chain solutions for both digital and physical supply networks throughout the global electronic component ecosystem.


David Paulson
Global Vice President, Avnet United and Avnet Velocity ®

Editorial Director
Diane Trommer

Production/Web Hosting


Questions or comments about our publication can be directed to Supply Chain Navigator Editorial Director Diane Trommer at Connect with Diane via LinkedIn.