Supply Chain Resilience in a Pandemic: The Need for Revised Contingency Planning

Stephanie BLACK, Daniel GLASER-SEGURA

Abstract


Organizations have worked over the years to develop efficiencies to their supply chains, which includes efforts to reduce waste, lower costs, consolidate suppliers and distributors, better manage costs of goods sold and inventory, develop efficiencies in packaging, storage, and shipping of product, as well as utilizing digital analytics to manage consumer choices and demands. These are all by-products of world-class manufacturing which have promoted systematic organizational and supply chain efficiencies. However, under economic shocks that are sustained over longer periods of time (e.g., Covid-19 Pandemic) and that affect supply chains from a variety of disruptions, a supply chain that is not prepared or adaptable may be broken or at a minimum weigh down the organization. Therefore, the ability to manage and control risk is a key aspect of effective supply chain management. However, the literature on pandemic risk mitigation is nascent. Thus, this paper offers a review of the extant literature, provides a strategic mitigation model covering five dimensions: leadership, preparedness, digitalization, resilience, and pivoting. These dimensions are designed to help organizations in the future to be more adaptive to events such as global pandemics and other large-scale disruptions and discuss implications for future research.

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