Tribune. The Covid-19 pandemic has forcefully revealed that we are now largely dependent for our supplies on foreign countries. The shortages of masks, the stormy negotiations to be delivered in priority of vaccines, make that a widely shared need within the political families of the nation is that France reindustrializes and regains control of the value chains essential to its sovereignty.
In this context, most of the presidential candidates agree on the fact that an objective for the next few years must be to relocate part of the production, and to promote the return of factories to our soil. While it is undeniable that better control of value chains requires the return of factories to national soil, a policy that would limit itself to targeting these factories alone is only part of the solution.
Regardless of the industrial sector considered, it is indeed clear that value is created today not only in factories, but also in warehouses and logistics platforms. And that the competitive advantage of an industrial firm stems both from the mastery of productive manufacturing technologies, and that of the logistics technologies necessary to circulate them to customers.
High added value warehouses
The strength of a company like Apple is certainly explained by its ability to constantly innovate in terms of products, but also stems from the way in which it has managed for years to orchestrate globally and efficiently around a few factories and logistics platforms. worldwide, a supply chain made up of thousands of upstream suppliers and downstream sales outlets.
It is also not insignificant that on the death of Steve Job, the head of the company was entrusted to Tim Cook, then responsible for manufacturing and supply chain (” Supply Chain “). Simply thinking about an industrial policy targeting factories means looking at production reality with the glasses of the past, using an economic distinction between industry and services that no longer makes sense today and prevents us from seeing the logistical reality in face.
The reality is that warehouses, in addition to their central function of storing and recombining flows, now also integrate productive tasks such as co-manufacturing (assembly of products) and the co-packing (product packaging). Today, many automated warehouses have nothing to envy on the technological level to certain factories and require in this context equally important investments.
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