In March 2020, the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) provided a host of research depicting the early impacts of COVID-19 on companies around the globe. Some of those impacts in order of severity were rapid changes in work; project delays; hiring delays; loss of sales, revenue and orders; supplier issues; and staff absences. With this data from IRM and other research organizations, a body of 30 companies called The Supply Chain Risk Management Consortium projected an impending “bullwhip effect” caused by distorted information flowing up and down supply chains — leading to an imbalance between demand and supply.
From there, the Consortium predicted a global “W-like” recovery, which included three phases: respond, recover and renew.
In the initial “respond” phase, the bullwhip effect impacted all industry sectors, especially healthcare. They had an over demand and under supply of personal protective equipment, or PPE. Many companies in other sectors were forced to cut their product portfolios and re-scale their supply chains.
About 75% of companies say they’re now in the “recover” stage, according to the Consortium, although the bullwhip effect has had an uneven impact on multiple sectors. In this phase, companies have been reducing their portfolios, entering new market channels and reinventing their product portfolios. In the “renew” phase, we’ll see successful companies continue to pivot and rescale their supply chains.
The challenges will be many. Amid the omicron wave, companies are focused on:
Going forward, consider these action items:
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