The Impact of a Pandemic on the Global Supply Chain
After an economic change or unprecedented pandemic, the global supply chain is affected. New strategies are necessary, which is why some organizations thrive well after a pandemic while others become more and more ineffective. There is no single industry that remains the same over several years given the dynamicity of the global market. Changes are meant to happen, and when they do, it is apparent that some organizations will be affected more than others. To meet the market needs after pandemics and major economic changes, organizations and specifically, managers must understand their vulnerabilities and effectively adopt necessary changes in their strategies. For instance, the post-COVID-19 pandemic will be a period of major changes in supply chains globally, with businesses focusing on new opportunities and making their supply chain more agile. There is no single business that is resistant to change caused by these events, but how each response determines the success or failure of its long-term strategy. If an organization has a well-developed strategy, it will be more likely to succeed in such times. Some organizations find it hard to get past these unexpected changes, hence the need for collaborations among different players of the supply chain within and without the industry. If there is effective collaboration, the organization incur less investment risk, and can easily develop a responsive supply chain.
The supply chain is among the important aspects of any business. It plays a key role in determining how well an organization is suited or prepared to sustain itself. Organizations usually look at the future when developing strategies and plans. Organizations that lack an effective strategic plan is doomed to fail even with a slight change in the economy or within the immediate external environment. A supply chain may not necessarily have one key player. The higher the number of entities involved in a supply chain, the more resilient and responsive the supply chain will be. Cross-collaboration comes at a cost but is much significant in helping an individual organization make a step towards sustainability. With changing times, it is understandable to have key people in the business world like Grant F. Reid, CEO of Mars Company proposing that collaboration can do a great deal in the global supply chain.
Supply Chain Visibility and Agility
Supply chain visibility refers to the ability of a company to locate a product or service as it travels downstream towards the end-user. It is usually important for an organization to know what is happening throughout the supply chain. If a company releases a product to the end-user and ignores any possible outcomes before the end-user obtains the service or product, it may result in customer dissatisfaction (Ivanov, 2020). Supply chain visibility, therefore, plays a significant role in determining what an organization does in terms of its own supply chain improvement, and what to leverage whenever an opportunity comes up. For example, it should be possible to locate all inputs during production, such that if something goes wrong, it is easier to identify and flag the problem.
The main objective of any organization is to produce and deliver quality products to the customer while reducing lead times and varying volumes as much as possible. A supply chain is agile if it reduces varying volumes, offers quality products in the shortest time possible, and still offers a high value to customers. Agility is an aspect in today’s dynamic world, as in the case of an unprecedented event, an agile supply chain is fast to respond to the changes whether from the environment or competitive forces (Ivanov, 2020). During and after a pandemic, some organizations suffer huge losses as demand and production are affected. However, agile supply chains remain resistant to such drastic changes offering the organization room to rethink its strategy and possibly improve most effectively.