NCMS rolls out new tool for automated supply chain management in pandemic response

ANN ARBOR—The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences has announced the publication of a new Technology Brief focused on automating the production and distribution of critical supplies in the event of future pandemics.

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains across vital sectors including manufacturing, the NCMS launched an initiative to facilitate the production and distribution of critical supplies in the event of future pandemics. The collaboration brought together two industry partners, Herndon, Va.-based computer vision, video analytics and healthcare software developer Presage Technologies and South Bend, Ind.-based data exchange software developer Simba Chain, along with supply chain and logistics leaders from the federal Department of Defense.

NCMS officials said the team made two breakthroughs. First, they created a deep learning model that accurately predicts outbreaks of COVID-19 and can be used to forecast other infectious diseases. Second, they successfully used this model to automate supply and demand logistics decisions, enabling just-in-time inventory management of critical products and equipment.

This new strategy for automated inventory management will serve the public good by helping companies to ensure that essential parts, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and other vital products are available where needed. The forecasting model offers the opportunity for government leaders to make informed decisions to ensure that hospitals and other critical infrastructure remains operational; to sustain the unimpeded flow of food, water, medical supplies; and to safeguard basic quality of life products and services.

To learn more about NCMS’s involvement in this ground-breaking work, see the full Technology Brief at

NCMS is a cross-industry technology development consortium dedicated to improving the competitiveness and strength of the United States industrial base for over three decades. NCMS leverages a network of industry, government, and university partners to develop, demonstrate, and transition innovative technologies efficiently, with less risk and lower cost. NCMS enables world-class companies to work effectively with other members on new opportunities—matching highly capable companies with the providers and end users who need their innovations and technology solutions. The NCMS network benefits from an accelerated progression of idea creation through execution. Learn more at, at NCMSs LinkedIn, and at @ncmsmfg.

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