The COVID-19 crisis exposed the fragility of global supply chains. It was the perfect storm; a global stressor, the pandemic meant halts and delays to manufacturing and transport, closed borders, heightened geopolitical tensions and workers stuck at home.

Coronavirus was not the first shock to global supply and it won’t be the last. But it does strengthen the case for bolstering continuity of supply of crucial components.

Professor Doug Thomas, an expert in supply chain management who researches production and inventory planning across the extended enterprise, argues that executives’ focus must shift to balance the historical commitment to efficiency with a renewed commitment to resiliency.

“Intentional action led to historical cost efficiencies as well as the vulnerabilities that are being exposed by COVID-19.”

– DOUG THOMAS, Henry E. McWane Professor of Business Administration

Thomas discusses several approaches that organizations and global economies can take to help overcome vulnerabilities across global supply chains, noting the potential risks, geopolitical challenges and long-term benefits for each approach.

Read the full article on Ideas to Action.

This article is excerpted from Executive Education & Lifelong Learning’s Acting in the Present, Shaping the Future: Leaders in Unprecedented TimesDownload the full whitepaper to read additional perspectives on a hybrid workforce, climate action, the rise of AI and machine learning, diversity, equity and inclusion, and more from Darden’s world-renowned faculty experts.

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