COVID-19 revealed the fragility of supply chains – TechCrunch

At the onset of the epidemic, it was clear that there would be worldwide lockdowns of varying degrees. So naturally, there was a run on toilet paper (and to a lesser extent, paper towels and tissues). The shops suddenly found that one of the most basic facilities consumed by humans has been sold.

We had never seen this level of preparation, and the supply chain was not ready. They were still moving at the pace of trade, creating a gap between supply and demand.

Slipping further into the epidemic, this supply issue for basic goods shifted to front-line workers, who were increasing the safe limits of their personal protective equipment (PPE). This highlighted the impact of sudden changes in demand across supply chains. Companies began to remodel their production to produce protection equipment and hand sanitizer. Some to make quick profits, others to fill a need in the supply chain.

It is time for companies and entire industries to rethink and change their global supply chain model – in close collaboration with governments.

Governments and corporates were scrambling. Spreadsheets were floating around with proposals from potential suppliers.

During this period, it was difficult to observe the entire market, as quality, vendor search and price fluctuations led to general chaos. Tracking the origin of production, it was impossible to obtain any information about any data related to quality control of production facilities. The market was flooded with bad products, fake etc. The pieces seem to have appeared with a beginning guide to supply the chain structure.

Consumers began to understand that the system did not stand up to such turmoil.

Corporate sourcing strategies are challenged

We have clearly seen that companies have little control of supply chains. Generally most companies have only a moderately competent risk plan for tier one suppliers. We can only assume that this is why most of us are going without an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 this holiday season. These are not products that are manufactured with components from one source; There are many components and materials that go into making one of these machines.

By the refining process of external materials, dyeing dyes, plastic elements and low-cost countries need to have low-cost production sites, all contributing to potential delays in production when things do not run as they should. De-constructing a gaming console reveals an extremely complex matrix of companies, processes, materials and countries.

If we are as a kind of smart-representation exposing all materials, people, companies and locations as direct visibility into the journey of each component in a gaming console, we will be able to point out inefficiencies in the supply chain .

All of these materials and components find their way into the supply chain, but their stories get lost along the way. This specific data is not available, and thus both companies and countries are struggling to create effective risk plans for world events that throw the supply chain into chaos. Currently, a revolution is taking place under the radar of most people enabled by distributed technology (blockchain) to bring such transparency to supply chains.

Identify your weaknesses

Understanding where the risks lie so that companies can protect themselves may require a lot of digging. This necessitates going beyond the first and second levels and mapping complete supply chains, including distribution facilities and transportation centers. This is time-consuming and expensive, suggesting that most major firms have focused their attention only on strategic direct suppliers who are responsible for large amounts of their expenses.

But a surprising disruption that brings a business to a halt can be a lot more expensive than a keen glance at the supply chain.

The mapping process should aim to classify suppliers as low, medium or high risk and to build appropriate mitigation strategies. But this approach is only possible when we can access data generated by various suppliers at any level of the supply chain – and we can rely on this data for analysis.

Its purpose is to give early warning of delays or disruptions, which allow diversification of sources or stockpiling of key materials or goods. Of course, this is all speculation because we have the vaccine roll out only a few months after running out of toilet paper.

Pandemic and Vaccine and Supply Chain

We thought that this year a global and free market was challenged. Medical companies experienced a lack of ability to source some key ingredients, such as the active ingredients in headache pills in India. Everything became a national battle to secure essential goods for his country – a trend also heightened by nationalism and protectionism in trade. The need for control and visibility in supply chains was evident and became a priority not only for the private sector but also for governments.

With the rollout of a vaccine (or multiple vaccines), we will refer to the above issues not only as risk, sourcing and process control, but also quality and responsibility. To target an already active cyber attack by fake Very specific point Supply chain process (sending vaccines and must be conducted at a certain temperature) We are seeing the need for decentralized logistic systems that tell the story of every touch point in production. But it does not matter that governments cannot manage their supply chain requirements, As we are already seeing.

It is possible that lessons will be learned from the COVID-19 epidemic. It is time for companies and entire industries to rethink and change their global supply chain model – in close collaboration with governments. One thing is for sure, the epidemic has already exposed the vulnerabilities of many organizations, particularly those with a solid reliance on global sourcing for raw or finished materials.

The good news is that new supply chain technologies are emerging that will increase visibility across supply chains, reduce risk and build an infrastructure that can handle the volatility of the next pandemic. The application of distributed chain technology has already proved useful as a solution to ensure accountability and trust in the data provided along the supply chain. The digital supply network will gradually replace the linear supply chain model, breaking down functional silos to create end-to-end visibility, collaboration, agility and customization.

This is good news for the future, especially since we are all experts in supply chain logistics after almost a year of working from home, stocking toilet paper and hopefully not nearly enough in our carts — enough gaming consoles. Click Refresh to add one.