Supply Chain Industry Becomes Our Saving Grace
The COVID-19 coronavirus has ushered the world into a crisis of unforeseen magnitude, unprecedented intensity, and perhaps the most concerning of all, unknown duration. The virus’s abrupt and unbecoming introduction forced the world to quickly formulate an aggressive combination plan of defense and action. The arrival of this virus also forced a specific industry to rule the minds of people well outside of the industry’s walls.
Immediately, worried parents, retail and restaurant owners, healthcare workers and their patients, and practically everyone else in the world turned their attention and desperate focus to supply chain. We all quickly discovered that the organizations, processes, and systems that ensure the smooth operation of our typical society were not designed for a worldwide crisis such as the one we must now confront head-on.
As the entire world faces this fight together, supply chain professionals, educators, entrepreneurs and inventors have been tasked with not only rethinking, but seemingly changing how supply chain will operate in 2020 and beyond.
The shortage of ventilators and essential personal protective equipment (PPE) was astonishing and terrifying. In turn, we discovered how difficult it is to find suppliers, the red tape in the ordering process, not to mention the price gouging, and fraud found along the way. These issues and more accumulated to impose an impossible hurdle for local hospitals, nursing homes, local governments, shelters, prisons and more to filter through the mess to place orders.
NAVIGATING NEW WATERS
Companies have shifted their focus to manufacturing materials that weren’t in high demand for local communities years ago such as filtration materials for masks, ventilators, and the ability to sterilize and reuse existing PPE. Manufacturing is only half the battle, and the ultimate question centers around the transportation of these locally sourced products. The development of these new products and markets has made a localized, agile, and collaborative carrier network seem to be essential now more than ever.
If there is any silver lining to this global crisis, it has made crystal clear the fact that our globalized supply chains are not as impermeable as we once thought. The unfortunate reality is that the impact of this pandemic will continue, and the supply requirements (domestically and worldwide) will be sky high for the foreseeable future.
SO WHAT’S THE PLAN?
The time is now to create a more diverse combination of localized orchestration between U.S.-based manufacturing and a dependable domestic carrier base. These in turn will support manufacturing facilities and factories across the country at a high level, ensuring resiliency and self-sufficiency, while simultaneously reducing the load on local government and hospital procurement resources.
Marketing Manager, C.L. Services