The supply chain
By Stephen Smith, Lt. Colonel –
By the time you’re reading this, we will hopefully be past the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but for months and years into the future we will ponder the lessons learned from this very unusual and tragic time in our history. With the almost unprecedented push to produce supplies and equipment, I hope we have learned to be better prepared in the future for calamities like what we are experiencing now.
One of the shortages we experienced was an inadequate number of ventilators for use with patients who were experiencing severe breathing issues. During the height of the crisis, I was listening to a podcast about a small Seattle-based ventilator manufacturer who was suddenly required to increase their capacity far beyond their previous norms to help meet the demand for ventilators.
I learned that a ventilator consists of 700 separate parts. All are vitally important if the machine is to function correctly. I also learned that these parts came from manufacturers located all over the world. So, in the midst of this crisis, how does this small company secure enough components from about 80 different suppliers to increase production from 200 ventilators per month to over 1,000 per month? Enter the General Motors Company who formed an unlikely alliance with this small ventilator manufacturing company.
What I did not realize is that General Motors is not so much an auto fabricating company as it is a massive innovator in supply chain management. For example, the small Seattle company was having difficulty getting one of the 700 parts from a company in India. After hearing this, within a few hours GM had one of its representatives at the factory in India working to free up the “log jam.”
In the end, the small company secured enough parts to produce five-times its normal monthly production.
When we consider the 700 ventilator parts and their individual importance to the success of the machine, I can’t help but think of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 12. He uses an analogy of the human body to make the point that it takes many individuals doing their part to properly make up the body of Christ.
Similarly, the 10 Messengers of the Kingdom being commissioned this year in the USA Western Territory will play a vital role in God’s plan for the salvation of the world. We need all 10 of them to be committed to the mission and be in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The same can be said for the rest of us, too. Are we doing our part to do God’s work in the world? God needs each one of us to do our part!
The Messengers of the Kingdom have received thoughtful instruction, they have learned on the field from some of our most experienced officers, soldiers and volunteers. Now, they must assemble this knowledge into a personal ministry that will be meaningful and impactful.
Like the small company in Seattle that was stretched beyond its normal limits, our Messengers of the Kingdom will be challenged on a daily basis to minister in difficult circumstances. But, we praise God because he is our supply chain and he gives us, and the Messengers of the Kingdom, all of the components needed to minister in his name. May God bless the Messengers of the Kingdom!