Guide

COVID-19: A Guide to Supply Chain

Words: Andrew Black Ashray Lavsi

Prepare your supply chain for the restart and the new normal 

This Supply Chain Guide was created by Efficio’s team of supply chain experts to help you navigate through a myriad of considerations and procedures – both simple and complex – all necessary to successfully overcome supply chain related business challenges faced globally in the era of COVID-19. 

With supply chains around the world already disrupted, you need to act now to prepare for the restart of activities and the move to the new normal. 

This guide provides key immediate and longer-term actions to take to get your supply chain strategy, planning, inventory, logistics and warehousing ready for the post-COVID-19 world. 

Introduction 

The COVID-19 crisis is a classic ‘black swan’ event: it was completely unexpected, has had a major impact on the global economy and is in danger of being inappropriately rationalised with the benefit of hindsight. 

For supply chain managers, it has exposed the dangers of the now decades-long focus on minimising costs, reducing inventories and driving up asset utilisation. When the crisis hit, too many businesses found their supply chains lacked the buffers to absorb the initial disruption and the agility to respond to the ongoing crisis.

More broadly, COVID-19 is starting to feel less like a genuine one-off and more like just the latest, albeit the most serious, in a series of exogenous shocks to supply chains over the past decade (think of the US-China trade war, Brexit, Asian tsunamis etc.). Against this background, supply chain managers need to start thinking about how they manage the initial uncertainty of the post-COVID-19 ‘re-start’ and then build a supply chain that allows them to navigate an increasingly risky world, while capitalising on the opportunities in the ‘new normal’. 

This guide has been prepared by Efficio to provide supply chain managers with a checklist of immediate actions to take to prepare for the restart, as well as medium to long term activities to successfully manage the new normal. For ease of reading, it has been divided into sections that correspond with the key supply chain activity areas: strategy, planning, inventory, logistics & distribution and warehousing. It concludes with a short section where we offer our thoughts on what COVID-19 means for the future of supply chain management and business more generally. You may not agree with all our ideas, but we hope you find the guide a useful, and thought-provoking, read.
 

Download the full COVID-19: A Guide to Supply Chain for extensive checklists covering each of the topics shown on the chart below.