How a Manufacturing Moonshot was Made

How a Manufacturing Moonshot was Made

How a Manufacturing Moonshot was Made

In March 2020, shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the New York Times ran a story under the headline: “There aren’t enough ventilators to cope with the coronavirus.”

It explained that the number of ventilators in the world at the time could not meet the rising demand of patients seriously afflicted with the disease. There appeared to be no solution. The complexity of the devices, whose supply chains comprise hundreds of specialized manufacturers scattered across the globe, made production surges seemingly impossible. “Italy wanted to order 4,000,” a European manufacturer told the paper, “but there’s not a chance.”

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, an effort was underway that would unite a group of optimists and problem solvers from Vyaire Medical, Spirit AeroSystems, McKinsey, and an array of Vyaire’s suppliers. Together, they embarked on an ambitious quest to dramatically increase ventilator production, thereby giving medical professionals a chance to better care for critically ill patients.

Before it was all said and done, the venture would put thousands of furloughed people back to work, stand up a new ventilator-manufacturing facility, and bolster links in far-flung supply chains on the way to hitting a production rate that would deliver nearly a years’ worth of ventilators every three days.

“At Vyaire, we take pride in accepting and facing challenges that others might shy away from,” says Vyaire CEO Gaurav Agarwal. “In this case, we achieved something others might not dare to imagine.”

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This article was originally published by McKinsey & Company, Copyright (c) 2022 All rights reserved.

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