The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resiliency of supply chains all around the world. In the groceries segment, for example, this unprecedented event saw consumers hoarding food and other goods, creating gaps in their flow from suppliers to retailers. Many supply chains lagged because they were unable to respond rapidly to unusual events.
While COVID-19 may have been unusual, supply-chain disruptions are anything but. Natural disasters, social unrest, and heavy weather all regularly inflict headaches on supply-chain managers. A 2018 report from the Business Continuity Institute showed that 56% of companies experienced a supply-chain disruption in the prior year, and that 60% dealt with between five and 10 disruptions during the prior two years. During the current crisis, 75% of manufacturing companies that source from China experienced supply-chain hiccups, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
Supply chains that under-performed during COVID-19 — and there were many — need to be rebuilt with more resiliency going forward. What lessons can we learn from the supply-chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?