Sustainability to Survivability the Supply Chain post COVID-19 Q8

A: Roger Needham
Senior Supply Chain Consultant
IBM Sterling Solutions, IBM Europe

Much will depend on the nature of the organisation operational model. For manufacturers their ability to even begin a restart of production operations, will depend on the extent to which critical components originating in Tier 2/3 suppliers are ‘at risk’, due to the ongoing viability of these often smaller but vital suppliers. Will the supplier have survived the lockdown? If so, will national government policies allow them to reopen at the same time as the OEM? If the supplier has struggled financially, what options exist to help their cashflow position in the short-medium term.

The reduction in logistics capacity generally and/or the extent to which transport assets are ‘out of rotation’, and/or inadequately staffed, will be the focus of logistics teams. Larger organisations will no doubt have multiple teams focusing simultaneously on supplier risk and logistics / transport challenges. The two are more likely to go hand in hand, as the end to end supply chain will struggle to function adequately by diverting attention to one challenge versus the other.

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