When we go shopping at our local grocery store, pharmacy, hardware outlet, or just about any other kind of retailer, we expect the goods we’re seeking to be there, sitting on the shelf, ready for us to purchase and take home to use whenever we so desire. We take for granted this instantaneous availability of practically anything we want or need.
The Robust Design and Interconnected Systems of Global Supply Chains
What we so infrequently consider is why we are able to do so. The answer lies in the advanced efficiencies built into the modern supply chain that underpins these products’ raw material sourcing, manufacture, and ultimate delivery to the retail outlets we frequent. It’s easy to forget all the necessary steps that must take place for us to enjoy this convenient consumption.
Because supply chains have become so invisibly ingrained in our lives, it’s also easy to forget just how fragile they really are. Myriad dangers constantly threaten their stability, from a routine traffic accident that delays a transport truck from delivering oranges to a grocer, to a Category 5 hurricane that destroys manufacturing operations and delays shipments of everything a region might produce for weeks. Wars, political instabilities, labor disputes and even acts of terrorism also serve as constant threats to seemingly iron-clad supply chains.
The Far-Reaching Impact of the Pandemic on Supply Management Systems as a Whole
Nothing has laid bare this fragility more effectively than the current global pandemic resulting from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Its world-wide reach and sheer unexpectedness has thrown supply chains into chaos, grinding entire industries to a halt and forcing countless businesses to cease operations as markets dry up. Overstuffed warehouses full of goods no one is buying, transport networks that are a trickle of their former selves, and dramatic shifts in demand have all characterized the supply chain world since the pandemic began wrapping it in its grip in March 2020.
For most supply chain managers, this is a crisis like no other. As they look for ways to ensure their own businesses remain as financially healthy as possible, many of the suppliers and other partners they have dealt with for years are scaling back their own operations or going out of business altogether. For many, this has simply become a battle for survival.
The Answer is Closer than You Think
Fortunately, there are a number of tactics they can undertake to get through these tough times. And what’s more, these tactics are not radical, unproven salves to be applied to the wounds the pandemic has opened. They are, in fact, strategies that have been implemented in the past by leaders who operate the most resilient and successful supply chains.
A new Intelex Insight Report takes a thorough look at these solutions and offers advice from some of today’s top supply chain experts on how companies can implement them right now. Along with this advice, the paper examines the effects COVID-19 has had on supply chains and puts the pandemic in context, relative to other large-impact catastrophes from the past. It also offers hypotheses on what lasting effects the current crisis will have on supply chains, and what companies can do today to ensure their networks emerge stronger tomorrow
Get your copy of Supply Chain Resiliency in a Pandemic World here.