Let’s be honest, coronavirus(COVID-19) outbreak has disrupted supply chains like never before. No other event in history has had the power to stop the supply of goods and essentials across borders. But, this pandemic has not only reduced the supply but also increased the demand. The essential supply chains like groceries, medical supplies, and other necessary provisions are highly disturbed and disoriented. People are unable to join work, which has completely halted the production of multiple supplies such as hand-sanitizers, cleaners, etc.
Is there a solution to this problem? Can we mitigate the risks to some extend? Can upskilling with AI certification prepare us for the future? Let’s find out.
Learning Of Blog
- COVID-19 and Supply Chain
- Which Supply Chain Has Been Disrupted the Most?
- What Companies Can Do?
o Support Regional Supply Chain
o Use Technology
- Prepare for The Future
In this article, we will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chains across the globe. We have also explored the methods to mitigate risks.
COVID-19 and Supply Chain
Coronavirus outbreak is disrupting and harming the supply chain in multiple ways. Here’s a simple version of what is happening:
Imagine that the supply chain contains a network. In this network, there are manufacturers, transporters, and receivers.
Manufacturers are suffering because the labor-intensive processes of the workflow are being halted. As workers are not able to work together and the precautionary measures are being taken, social distancing is reducing the amount of production to a great extent. Even with increased demand, the supply is reducing by the day.
The transporters are facing trouble while transferring products from manufacturers to receivers. The transport routes are under lockdown and there is a high risk for the transporter. If one transporter is infected, he or she can infect multiple people in the whole supply chain. Hence, transporters are cautious and some have even stopped working.
Receivers are the direct contact of the consumer. Since the supply from the manufacturer is reducing, the receiver is unable to fulfil the growing demand. Their inventory levels are decreasing, and in no time, the supply may be halted altogether.
A collective impact of all three nodes leads to a major bottleneck in the supply chain which is important for the common public.
If we talk about other supply chains such as clothing, fashion, etc., these have completely stopped. Therefore, from manufacturer to consumer, the demand may have not stopped but supply has ceased.
Which Supply Chain Has Been Disrupted the Most?
Undoubtedly, the food, cleaning essentials, and medical supply chains are affected the most. With panic in public, bulk orders are leading to empty shelves and inventories. These supply chains will require a lot of time to recover once the lockdown lifts and everything goes back to normal.
Overall, every supply chain has been hit hard. The other supply chains which are completely halted have stock and inventory but no transporter. So, recovery for these supply chains will not be easy as well.
What Companies Can Do?
What can small and big manufacturers do to improve the situation in the future? We have explained this in the following section:
1. Support Regional Supply Chain
A lot of companies prefer opening a big manufacturing plant rather than two small ones. This means that a huge plant with capacity X is created in one area instead of achieving segmentation. Although much thought is never given to this structure, it increases the risks of manufacturing.
In effect, two smaller plants can also deliver the same capacity X. Thus, the revenue generated by one big plant and two smaller plants is equal. However, the benefit achieved in the second case is much bigger.
Here’s the benefit:
If there are two smaller plants of same capacity X, these two plants can serve two different regions; achieving regional diversity. Something, we can really utilize today.
Of course, this type of segmentation can only be achieved with proper planning and analysis. But, the outcome is favorable.
2. Use Technology
While larger organizations can segment their manufacturing units, smaller organizations can’t. So, technology is the solution. Smaller organizations can adopt new technologies to improve their supply chain functioning.
For example, a lot of small vendors utilize warehousing offered by Amazon and similar organizations. However, there are now companies which offer short-term warehousing solutions to these vendors. The management is improved and flexibility is improved, which is not possible with Amazon.
In simple words, this is possible because of the technology available. It was not there even 5 years back. Technology is changing and adopting these developments can help us adjust to future disruptions in the supply chain.
One of the things that organizations in manufacturing can achieve is upskilling their employees. Even artificial intelligence experts believe that technologies like AI, ML, and blockchain can help us cope with future pandemics through better tech implementations.
So, upskilling your employees and allowing them to complete artificial intelligence certification can offer better outcomes in the future.
Truly, COVID-19 has disrupted the whole supply chain across the globe. But, we have a chance now, a chance to change the outcome if we face a similar situation in the future. This chance can only be achieved with better technology, segmentation, and upskilling with AI certification.