Coronavirus Outbreak Puts Focus On Supply Chain Risk

Coronavirus outbreak puts focus on Supply Chain Risk

by Alan Jackson — 4 years ago in Supply Chain Management 6 min. read

The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), which was mainly concentrated in China’s highly industrialized city of Wuhan, has opened up the fragility of the global supply chain. For many years manufacturers that built complex supply chains around the world had begun to focus on supply chain risk or face severe long-term consequences.

The best price of this COVID-19 outbreak was human, with over 79,000 reported instances along with 2,623 deaths as of February 24, the huge majority in China, according to the World Health Organization. The COVID-19 virus has spread to 32 countries and the WHO Risk Assessment for China is”very large ”

The costs to the world economy are still being tallied, and the worldwide supply chain has endured consequences as firms have needed to shutter production operations and as provides are languishing invents.

Apple is 1 case of a business that has been influenced. Several facilities which make iPhone parts are closed down at least briefly in response to this epidemic, and lots of Apple retail stores in China are shut. Within an investor advice statement on February 17, Apple explained that the”global iPhone distribution will likely be temporarily constrained,” and the corporation is going to miss revenue goals for the next quarter.

A fragile supply chain

This shows that the fragility of the international supply chain, said Rosemary Coates, president and founder of Blue Silk Consulting, a management consulting company that concentrates on global supply chains and is based in Los Gatos, Calif…

The concentration of numerous providers in one field elevates the supply chain risk for producers, Coates said.

“Most of the large automakers have manufacturing plants in the region, and also to provide parts for them, all of the providers are clustered about those makers,” she explained. “They not only provide parts to manufacturing but also international fix components. So another thing that we will likely see after manufacturing plants across the world closed down… is that we are not likely to have the ability to fix cars since they won’t have the ability to have parts to fix anything.”

Even with no outbreak, supply chains are in fact pretty brittle, Coates stated, and among those reasons might be the just-in-time (JIT) and lean manufacturing plans that have held sway for several decades. These systems have helped producers control costs and enhance efficiency by reducing waste and ensuring components are introduced just when they’re wanted. But, they may boost supply chain danger since manufacturers no longer should rely on shares of stock.
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Many potential supply chain risks

The COVID-19 epidemic is simply the most recent case of a disruptive event which leads to supply chain threat, said Simon Ellis, program vice president at IDC.

“Should you consider disruptions — whether it is another disease issue, the following war, further transaction conflicts, climate change-related weather disruptions — that the palette of likely disturbance for the supply chain appears to be wider and deeper and broader and more extreme,” Ellis explained. “The coronavirus is the symptom; the disorder is a deficiency of resiliency, that supply chains are rigid.”

The attempts that firms have made about JIT and lean manufacturing principles are a huge contributor to the issue, Ellis said.

“If employed imperfectly, lean ends up meaning fragile, and when all of a sudden the stock provide stops, you do not have weeks of pay, you’ve times or sometimes even hours of pay,” he explained. “Supply chains have done it to reduce prices, to decrease consumer cost gains, but that comes at a price. When there’s structural disturbance you don’t expect, you are going to feel the pain with that disruption considerably faster than you may have years back when maybe there were bigger reservoirs of stock.”

Diversify the supply chain

So the question that all manufacturers need to answer is what strategy they should adopt to reduce the supply chain risk of disintegration.

Manufacturing in China has received a lot of attention recently regarding supply chain disruptions due to issues such as the coronavirus outbreak as well as trade and tariff wars. One of the measures is to diversify operations in China and not, according to Coats.

That may be easier said than done.

China’s so intensely industrialized, and at times there are parts that are just accessible from China, with the goal that’s one of those shortcomings,” Coates said. “We’ve been urging organizations to begin creating elective hotspots for some time since the levies became effective, and now with the [COVID-19] infection, it just amplifies the dire need to do that, to have elective plans and sources far and wide.”

Ellis said returning to a more seasoned pre-JIT procedure and expanding stock stocks might be a pointless overcompensation. Bringing greater adaptability into products and not having providers topographically focused bodes well

“Either the products you make must be progressively flexible with the goal that you can in any case make them if a specific part isn’t accessible, or you have basic segments,” he said. “[Also,] ensure you broaden supply out of one specific area.”

It’s always better to have a variety of suppliers and not simply rely on the lowest cost alternatives, said Dana Gardner, president and principal analyst at InterArbor Solutions LLC.

“It’s always been the case that you don’t want to concentrate all of your eggs in one basket, but it’s difficult to predict where issues can crop up. Now it just happens to be a contagious disease risk, but there are all sorts of other forms of supply chain risk,” Gardner said. “This is a reminder, and it’s not specific to any geography or any particular kind of risk, but it’s better to invest in diversity than it is to go to the lowest cost suppliers because, in the end, the risks could be higher.”

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Technology helpful but limited

Technology can also play a risk mitigation role. There are platforms and applications that help organizations assess and manage supply chain risk including Blue Yonder (formerly JDA Software), Infor Nexus, Llamasoft, Resilink and SAP Ariba.

These applications can be useful in providing a degree of supply chain visibility and can serve as early warning systems, but organizations have to decide if they want to carry the costs of running a system that may only be needed if something goes wrong, Ellis said.

“On the off chance that you have a portion of these applications and make a hierarchical responsibility to be a strong supply chain, you most likely can outflank your rivals if something turns out badly,” he said. “Be that as it may, constantly nothing turns out badly, you’re likely conveying somewhat higher basic expenses since you’ve fabricated this fair on the off chance that capacity.”

Supply chain chance evaluation applications can be helpful, Gardner stated, yet just in the event that they are joined with on-the-ground human information and connections. The innovation will be unable to completely foresee a hazard to the supply chain, however it might be valuable in helping associations react to an occasion and return to ordinary after an interruption.

“It will be fascinating to check whether associations that have put resources into shrewd stages and put resources into information and flexibility can ricochet back quicker than associations that don’t,” he said.

Faster reaction time an advantage

Surely, the greatest bit of leeway supply chain chance applications offer is a capacity for an association to respond quicker than contenders to a troublesome occasion, Ellis said.

“On the off chance that you can see an issue before it shows itself and be proactive, or see it so rapidly that you can respond quicker than every other person, you have a superior possibility of exploiting the providers that are accessible,” he said. “On the off chance that there are six providers on the planet and five of them get overwhelmed, that 6th provider will get a great deal of calls, and they are going to take the business from the principal couple that call, so being quick to the options is a major piece of supply chain strength.”

Supply chain chance appraisal applications that have progressed investigation and AI innovation can assist associations with deciding shaky areas in the supply chain and regularly propose activities to moderate the issues, Coates said. In any case, they are a long way from being generally embraced in assembling.

“Those types of devices are coming of age, but the world is filled with lots of small and medium businesses – even in automotive and aerospace – and these small companies don’t have the luxury of buying a big AI system, “He said. “So risk should be evaluated in different ways, either by personally placing someone on an airplane and going around to see suppliers and assess risk, or some other process like that. ”

Ultimately, the global supply chain may fall victim to its own success.

“The problem with the global supply chain is that you’ve got a bit of your supply chain everywhere,” Ellis said. “So if there is a big problem in one part of the world, chances are it is going to affect you because part of your supply chain is there – because part of your supply chain is everywhere.

Alan Jackson

Alan is content editor manager of The Next Tech. He loves to share his technology knowledge with write blog and article. Besides this, He is fond of reading books, writing short stories, EDM music and football lover.

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