Founder and CEO of LeanCor Supply Chain Group, Robert O. Martichenko’s Post COVID-19 Crisis Supply Chain: A Time To Rise is probably one of the most insightful and important white papers of our time. It is especially thought provoking for Lean practitioners, and supply chain/logistics specialists.In his paper, Martichenko highlights the fact that logistics and supply chains to most people are invisible and that many of us have been lulled into a sense of simply expecting goods to arrive on time and as reliably as those being delivered by Amazon. He also explains that often the general population mistakes empty shelves for a shortage. To better prepare and to make more rational decisions during a crisis, he advocates having supply chain courses as part of core competencies in schools and organisations, both public and private.
What is clear is that we do not see the complexity of such systems – the ordering, the planning, the mechanics, and the alignment of numerous links within the supply chain and logistics. Having been hit by COVID-19, a "Black Swan" event, we have had a rude awakening. We came to realise quite quickly that we were not set up for the likes of a pandemic. Having said this, though, businesses have adapted heroically and we take it for granted.
The supply chain and logistics industries have dramatically reorganised themselves in a few months, dropping the usual competitive barriers between companies to form odd bedfellows for collaboration. Doing this required the mobilisation of the state, charities, and the private sector to manufacture and deliver vital supplies, like ventilators and personal protection equipment.
Post COVID-19 Crisis Supply Chain addresses both the public health and corporate supply chains, and clearly sets out how they differ and ways in which they may ultimately work together in a more comprehensive, seamless fashion to deal with regional, national, and global emergencies. Education is key so that in future we have the competency to ask the right questions in order to develop the most effective, data-driven strategies.
Martichenko’s paper is appropriately dedicated to “all healthcare and logistics specialists." Click here to download the PDF.
For more on how we can prepare for big changes, ones traditional analysis tells us are extremely unlikely, I strongly recommend The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Click here to read my review.