Automating the Search and Discovery of Manufacturing Service Providers to Enable a Digital Supply Chain Network
Uncertainty in manufacturing networks has created barriers to closing the gap between design enterprises and the American industrial base. Uncertainty arises from the lack of transparent access to manufacturer capabilities, the inability to auto-discover service providers who are best capable for a given job request, and the dependence on human word-of-mouth trust network relationships that exist in the manufacturing supply chain. This uncertainty slows down the pace of product development lifecycles from a viewpoint of inefficient forms of supplier assessment, vetting, selection, and compliance, leading to a trust tax tacked onto the final price of products. In times of global crisis such as the coronavirus disease pandemic, this uncertainty also leads to inefficient forms of gathering information on manufacturing capability, available capacity, and registered licenses and assessing compliance. This technical note outlines solution pathways that can help ease the search and discovery process of connecting clients and manufacturing service providers through digitally enabled technologies.