Supply Chain Quotations from the Pandemic!

Supply Chain Quotations

The Coronavirus Pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of our personal and working lives. And at the centre of this disruption has been Supply Chain.

We’ve heard our political and business leaders talking about Supply Chain more than any time in history. This is both because problems with Supply Chain have contributed to this issue and because solutions to these problems begin and end with Supply Chain.

Professionals are working every day to survive the current situation and strategize on how to make the changes necessary for more robust changes in the future.

During this time it’s important to reflect on what many of the global experts have had to say. In this article we’ve compiled a number of Supply Chain quotations from these experts regarding the Supply Chain and the pandemic.

Supply Chain Quotations

1. Michael Zimmerman, partner at A.T. Kearney in The Wall Street Journal.

Companies “will have a new focus on resilience. That means having more options. Multishoring and higher inventories are two likely outcomes.”

2. Sébastien Jean, Director, Centre d’études prospectives et d’informations internationales (CEPII) in

“We are in an economy where it is no longer possible to produce certain goods in a single country. For example, there is no such thing nowadays as a self-sufficient electronics industry in any given country. I do not believe this crisis on its own will result in a major restructuring of global trade because basically it will not bring into question the advantages of international value chains in terms of costs.”

3. Tim Lawrence, Manufacturing and Supply Chain expert at

“One key lesson from the pandemic is the importance of spreading the risk. Companies should avoid clustering suppliers in one region and around similar supply chains, reconsider whether it makes sense to create isolated supply chains and understand the location risks in every tier of the supply chain.

Your supply chain may not be as diverse as you like to think – for example, your alternative suppliers may themselves be reliant on tier 3 or tier 4 suppliers in the same region.”

4. Andre Simha, MSC Chief Digital and Information Officer in

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards digitalisation within the industry and the importance of engaging customers through multiple platforms, including through e-business.”

5. Luisa Santos, Director for International Relations at BusinessEurope in

“This situation has made more companies realize that it’s not ideal to rely on one supplier or one country for certain products. We have to diversify supply so that we are less dependent on one or two countries. But that doesn’t necessarily have to mean that we need more production in Europe. 

Protectionism is not the answer. We have to make sure that third markets remain open for our exports. Even if we start producing more in Europe, it will not all be consumed here.”

6. Tony Uphoff, president and CEO of Thomas in

“The Covid-19 pandemic will fundamentally redefine how industrial companies approach their supply chains and will further advance the digital transformation of manufacturing.”

7. Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines in

“ASEAN must remain open for trade. Crisis or no crisis, as no country can stand alone. Let us, therefore, ensure the supply chain connectivity and the smooth flow of goods within our region.”

8. John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco and current CEO of JC2 Ventures in

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused delays and other frustrations in businesses’ global supply chains, highlighting how vulnerable many are to unexpected disruption.

First, it’s essential to digitize as many processes as possible in the supply chain. A fully digital supply chain strategy can have a significant positive impact on operations.

Second, businesses should use the information collected from these digital tools to build a crisis management team.

Third, companies should gain as much visibility as they can into the details of their supply chain. Lack of visibility can frustrate a company’s ability to plan ahead and retard the decision-making process.”

9. Mike Mortson, CEO at Supply Chain Game Changer in

“As conditions improve it will be tempting, and in many ways unavoidable, for people to go back to their old ways of living and working. Time has the ability to make people forget the absolutely devastating disruption the pandemic has wrought on all of us.

But it is also true that history repeats itself. If we do go back to our old ways and forget the lessons that we have learned from the pandemic, then we should expect even worse and more dire ramifications the next time this happens.

We must heed these lessons and not forget. And this knowledge must be used to inform a new way of being, both at home and and work. The visibility to Supply Chain’s role in the world has never been greater and we must lead the way to the future.

This new way of being will become our new normal, as long as we never forget.”

10. Amit Ojha, Vice President at in

“The supply chain industry is implementing innovative methods to pick, pack, ship, track and deliver products in record times. Businesses are moving away from traditional supply chain methods by leveraging data and smarter order management systems,”

11. Steven Melnyk, Professor of Supply Chain Management at MSU in

“Existing supply chain models have been very efficient at driving down costs. But the pandemic has highlighted serious risks to the supply chain, and now is the time for companies to take a serious look at whether they can simply return to their previous supply chain model.

This will still include a global factor, but the long-term rebalancing will limit exposure by avoiding single-region or single-supplier sourcing. A balance of global, regional and local sourcing will prove to be less risky and more efficient in the long run.”

12. Mike Mortson, CEO at Supply Chain Game Changer in

“The Digital Supply Chain is characterized by real time, end to end electronic connectivity across your entire extended Supply Chain. With this electronic connectivity you will have all information at your fingertips about what is going on anywhere in your Supply Chain. And it is this connectivity which will put you in the best possible position to deal with any crisis or any eventuality.”

Supply Chain Quotations in Conclusion

If you would like to share more Supply Chain quotations regarding the Supply Chain and the pandemic please send it to us.

Originally published on August 25, 2020.

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