Organisations will be investing more in enterprise resource planning © P. Chorge/Hindustan Times/Getty Images
Organisations will be investing more in enterprise resource planning © P. Chorge/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Coronavirus: six ways supply chain management will change

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
30 March 2020

The coronavirus outbreak is going to bring significant changes to supply chain management, according to the boss of consultancy Globaltraid.

Sarah Cotgreave, director at Globaltraid, told SM the economic impacts of the virus would lead organisations to re-evaluate areas including warehousing and stocks, contracts, and emergency planning.

Cotgreave, who has managed procurement and commercial operations during international emergencies for seven years, has produced a list of six areas where she believes long-term change will take place:

1. We will see more investment in enterprise resource planning, coupled with a return to more decentralised stores and stock-keeping, especially for organisations operating in multiple countries.

2. Companies will re-evaluate the strategic value of roles such as accounts payable, warehousing and distribution.

3. Emergency planning and risk assessments will be based on a wider range of scenarios and include more emphasis on health and safety. These plans will have better visibility at a governance level and be tested more regularly.

4. Organisations will add a list of critical supplier contacts to their emergency plans and put some key responders onto retainer contracts (these suppliers may be different to those for normal operations, e.g. structural engineers for earthquake prone areas).

5. Many organisations will increase their network or leased line capability to secure bandwidth for emergencies.

6. Contracts will include a schedule that covers emergency operations and call trees. 

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