By Ernest Nicolas, Chief Supply Chain Officer, HP Inc.
One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting with HP’s customers and partners. They often ask me how we’re making our global supply chain more agile and more sustainable while continuing to deliver the highest quality products at the right price. It’s a great question.
For decades, global supply chains have been built on lean, just-in-time principles. This model has been incredibly successful, but I agree with our customers and partners — emerging from the global disruptions brought on by the pandemic, we need to take a more comprehensive global approach. The need for supply chains to evolve has never been clearer.
As a global company, HP’s supply chain must think in a much more holistic and interconnected way. I see the coordination required to run a large supply chain to be like conducting an orchestra, with many locations and capabilities coming together as one to serve the needs of our customers around the world.
The past few years have reinforced that we must also design our supply chain for resilience. This means having a multi-source strategy for key components, as well as manufacturing capacity in strategic locations around the globe so we’re prepared for potential disruptions.
In practice, this means we’ll continue investing in current sites where we have longtime operations, while sometimes shifting certain production to alternate locations to create flexibility and mitigate risk for our customers. In some instances, we will also build new operations to create capacity in growth regions where we are underdeveloped.
As supply chain leaders, we must create options which enable us to remain competitive, deliver what our customers need, when they need it, and continually adjust to the environment around us. This is challenging work which demands that we review and optimize our efforts over time. We are fortunate to have an outstanding supply chain team and partners around the world who work every day to achieve this.
Our team in China is perhaps the best example of this. We recently commemorated our 40th year in the country. During that time, we have built a tremendous manufacturing ecosystem that will remain an integral part of our global supply chain moving forward.
Importantly, we have built these capabilities while also making significant investments in China’s economic and social development. From the 12,000 channel partners we work with to bring our products and services to customers across the country, to our state-of-the-art R&D operations in Shanghai supporting our local PC and print businesses, to the significant investments we’re making to promote environmental sustainability and digital equity — we continue to grow in China and with China.
This is an approach we take in every country in which we operate. As a global business, we employ local talent in service to local customers and their communities. And there are many examples of this all around the world.
In Mexico, we have built on our longtime manufacturing presence over the past year by welcoming our new colleagues from Poly and adding incremental notebook PC production to serve customers throughout the region. And this is happening alongside one of the industry’s most ambitious Sustainable Impact agendas.
Similarly, our team in India has expanded its manufacturing activity during the past three years to serve the needs of our local business while accelerating production efforts in support of Digital India and other national priorities.
We also continue to expand across Southeast Asia, where we have well-established manufacturing operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We serve regional markets from factories in Japan and Brazil. And in the United States, we see opportunities to further expand our capabilities at locations such as our longtime print manufacturing facility in Corvallis, Oregon.
I’m excited about all the ways we are building agility, sustainability, and resilience into our supply chain so we can put great products in the hands of millions of people around the world who depend on our technology every day. And I am proud that we do so while making a positive impact in the communities our employees, partners and customers call home.
This has always been what drives us at HP. And the continued expansion of our global supply chain ecosystem will allow us to deliver on this mission well into the future.