The coronavirus’s health, psychological, economic, and other impacts have affected every nation. These disruptions are not expected to ease soon and, according to many experts, may even get worse before they get better.
One of the many areas detrimentally impacted is the supply chains of just about every product and component. Global supply chain concerns are compounded by many factors, such as the surge in demand for a limited number of goods (e.g., protective personal equipment for health professionals, such as masks and gowns, and soap and sanitizer products), slowed or halted manufacturing due to quarantines leading to low staffing numbers and plant closures, and delays and reduced shipping caused by closed ports.
Many of our clients, regardless of industry, will undoubtedly experience coronavirus-related supply chain issues, and may be interested in receiving information on issues impacting their supply chains with touchpoints in China and other locations around the world that are critical members of the global manufacturing, shipping, logistics and transportation networks on which we all depend. In one case, even before the coronavirus spread so virulently across the globe, Guidehouse was able to help a client identify parts of its sensitive supply chain that would be most directly disrupted at the time.
The current situation is even more complicated due to the global pandemic as it has now affected nearly everyone and every supply chain directly or indirectly. The issue, therefore, is determining how to most usefully assist our clients through supply chain reviews and possible identification of alternative suppliers and vendors, among other issues.
In that spirit, we think there are several areas where we could assist clients. For example:
Jumping ahead to the next areas where the United States and other countries are likely to face outsized demands. An example, according to our Guidehouse physicians, is large volume liquids, such as dextrose, saline, sterile water, and the empty bags they must be mixed in to fight respiratory viruses like COVID-19.
Assist clients in looking for suppliers and alternate suppliers.
Undertaking due diligence and other research to determine if there are any undue risks associated with supply chains and alternative suppliers, such as adverse media, legal and regulatory risks, or reputational issues that could compromise our clients’ dependency on them.
Identify and illuminate the known or unknown companies in a client’s supply chain and advising clients of the potential risks associated with those companies, including any we can identify that might touch on the coronavirus (e.g., companies’ geographic locations).
The bottom line is that we stand ready to assist with novel approaches during this COVID-19 emergency, and our supply chain risk management tools, experts, and capabilities can be relatively easily leveraged to help identify and mitigate potential risks as the globe fights this virus, its spread, and its aftermath.