Taking the Long Lead approach on manufacturing

Peter Schmied, President and Chief Operating Officer of Invotek Group

When the world changes, so does manufacturing.

History has revealed that many of the manufacturing constants today were brought in after tumultuous times. For example, just in time manufacturing was brought about by the lean times that followed World War II. The model was so efficient that it became the standard for many contract manufacturing companies. As Peter Schmied, President and Chief Operating Officer of Invotek Group remembers, this model was efficient because it kept costs low and ensured that clients were provided with the products they needed without having to focus on maintaining significant inventory. Not to mention offshore raw materials were just a phone call and a few weeks away.

But the world changed in March of 2020. Within a few weeks, just in time became hurry up and wait. The supply chain was broken as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down operations worldwide. Based on a survey taken in the second half of 2020, over half had reductions of at least 25% and 6% shut down completely. More than 90% felt unprepared.What’s worse is that in a post-pandemic world, the supply chain economy was expected to be as much as 40% lower in the new normal.

When the world began to recover, there was a huge problem in the supply chain. There was no space. Shipping containers were in short supply. Components and raw materials, if they were even available, would take at least double the time to arrive at a facility. As Peter Schmied puts it, “Manufacturing lead times for many products have increased dramatically. I have components that require up to 50 weeks lead time. The only way anyone can get past this problem is to utilize long term forecasts and ensure supply is met in a timely manner.”

Confidence in a long lead supply chain can then ensure components and raw materials are present when needed. Schmied has learned this approach makes a relationship successful. “We needed to develop that long lead.” In contrast to the Just In Time model, Invotek Group has identified that long lead times can ensure clients are making the right decisions to align with the global situation.

“Everyone is experiencing the same problem with delays. We do not want anyone to experience an unnecessary shortage. We want to be sure they have solutions.”


That is the benefit he feels Invotek Group can offer:  transparency over time. Instead of being rushed to make a decision in an instant, Schmied feels that using the long lead approach can ensure problems are avoided.  “We work very closely with our customers to make sure they engineer with the right components that are available. Many of our customers think twice when they are developing new products and think about what components are in it so that they are not in short supply. It’s very difficult to change later because you can’t just change components. You have to be clear with them from the start.”

Invotek Group also has a service provider focus that ensures the entire process from cradle to grave is done effectively. As Schmied puts it, “We can help with engineering, procurement, manufacturing, shipping and even product distribution.” He adds that it’s probably why they have been so successful. “We do all of this while supplying customers with great quality on time at competitive pricing in a transparent way.”

But while the company continues to grow at an incredible pace despite the pandemic, they are still looking for ways to improve their service. “We’re always looking to expand and add new value to our customers,” Schmied says. In light of the effects of COVID-19 on the world’s supply chain, Invotek Group has proven to be resilient and adaptive in its approach. They have brought many companies success and would be happy to discuss how to bring your manufacturing goals to reality.

Invotek would be happy to talk with you about your needs and how we can be YOUR factory.


Matthew Ruscica
Vice President of Sales and Program Management
905-201-1787 ext 222