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Supply chains have been upended. Here’s how to make them more resilient

  • Supply chain visibility is crucial to understanding the impact of disruption.
  • Digitizing records will make supply chains more resilient to future shocks.
  • Blockchain will help ensure data privacy for suppliers.

In the wake of supply chain disruptions due to coronavirus, several experts have reiterated the need to obtain more visibility across the chain. Companies who sell finished goods generally know production and shipment schedules for their Tier 1 suppliers, but they usually have little to no knowledge of suppliers further up the chain.

Obtaining this visibility is considered key to optimizing supply chain efficiency and agility during normal production. When critical supply chain disruptions hit, this visibility becomes crucial to understanding the impact of the disruption on the rest of the chain so that others in the ecosystem can plan and take action, such as developing routes to alternative suppliers.

Because COVID-19 has led to lockdowns, suppliers in the chain are temporarily ceasing production, and logistics providers can no longer transport goods as seamlessly, particularly across borders.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced in mid-February that it was temporarily halting production at a car factory in Serbia because it could not get parts from China. Hyundai has made a similar announcement for factories in Korea. International air travel transported a significant amount of trade cargo prior to COVID-19 but has seen its flights decrease by 55% since the beginning of the pandemic. China plays a central role in global supply chains.

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