So You Think Your Supply Chain is Complex?

When it comes to supply chain planning and logistics challenges, we can pretty much take for granted the ability to reach any corner of our planet in a matter of weeks – if not months, in the worst possible case. But consider the challenges of managing a supply chain that is in fact out of this world. I recently came across this analysis which talks about some of the challenges of managing a space-based supply chain. The authors note that "while [the term] 'supply chain' usually refers to the flow of goods and materials in and out of manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and retail stores ... a well-designed interplanetary supply chain would operate on much the same principles, with certain complicating factors. Transportation delays could be significant-as much as six to nine months in the case of Mars-and shipping capacity will be very limited. This will require mission planners to make difficult trade-offs between competing demands for different types of supplies.” Fascinating stuff, I must say.

Jason Busch

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