Amid crisis and disruption, supply networks designed for low-cost and minimal inventory pose a major risk.
By Olaf Schatteman, Drew Woodhouse and Joe Terino
It happened faster than anyone could imagine. As China sent workers home and shuttered businesses in January to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the steady flow of vital parts to global supply chains slowed or stopped. The unexpected disruption sent shock waves through boardrooms around the world, just as the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread.
Confronted with an unprecedented public health crisis, companies everywhere have rightly concentrated first on ensuring employee safety and supporting their local communities. Manufacturers in critical industries scrambled to find alternative suppliers to keep factories running. Now, as some regions move past the most acute phase of the pandemic and start to plan for recovery, leadership teams are taking a hard look at supply chain reliability and risk.