Coronavirus has disrupted every industry, globally, as many businesses are shutting their doors, temporarily or permanently. In the midst of the commotion, questions have emerged about the supply chain, and workers -- from factories and warehouses to transportation and retail stores--that make up the vital backbone of the economy. It’s no wonder why people are concerned.
That said, the supply chain is responding to coronavirus in different ways, some of which are surprisingly positive. Let’s take a look at some of the constructive changes resulted from the global pandemic.
1. Coronavirus exposes supply chain weaknesses
While this may sound less than ideal on the surface, understanding the weaknesses that exist in the supply chain is actually a good thing. Once we understand the most fragile parts of the supply chain, we can work on fixing the infrastructure to prevent future disasters. That means that after the hardship that occurs with coronavirus, the supply chain can emerge stronger than ever once significant tweaks have been applied. This includes ensuring the country is equipped with medical supplies, protecting farmworkers, and more.
2. People are stepping up in surprising ways
The news isn’t all just doom and gloom. More and more we see human-interest stories about brands and individuals stepping into new supply chain roles to ensure that healthcare workers have medical supplies and communities have food. For instance, The Hill recently reported that the designer brand, Louis Vuitton, is crafting masks and gowns for hospitals. Louis Vuitton isn’t the only one jumping in to answer the call. JOANN Fabrics has put out a call for 1 million masks for crafters, who can make the masks at home and send them to their local stores.
3. Companies realize their need for better management
Supply chain management is an art, and in the face of coronavirus, many companies are finding that they missed steps in the supply chain management process. For instance, Harvard Business Review says, “a small minority of companies that invested in mapping their supply networks before the pandemic emerged better prepared.” This leaves room for most companies to grow into better management strategies after the pandemic. One likely result of coronavirus will be a stronger emphasis on supply chain management that positively impacts the whole industry.
4. Companies are investing more in Technology
During the Pandemic, many companies have invested heavily in technology to quickly adapt to their rapidly changing business climate and to ensure communication continues uninterrupted. With employees working from home and offices closed, it became essential for workers to communicate and manage their work in a remote work environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated technology innovations within Supply Chains. More automated processes are implemented and real-time visibility are provided. These innovations were needed to keep supplies, especially Personal Protective Equipment, moving during the pandemic.
5. Companies are stocking up on raw material
The COVID-19 pandemic showed us all that “panic buying” is a real thing. In the first few months of the pandemic many essential products such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and such were extremely hard to find. Companies and their supply chains were not ready for this as they scrambled to keep up with demand. As the pandemic drags on, more businesses are utilizing warehouse and retail space to stock up on raw materials and essential products so if and when the "second wave" hits, businesses will be better prepared.
The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented event in recent history, but the supply chain can only come out stronger. For more information like this, follow our blog or contact one of our logistics and supply chain consultants today.