As we look back on the pre-lockdown frenzy, images of panic buying saw supermarket shelves stripped of pasta, toilet paper, canned goods and the like.
"As in every crisis, the strengths but also the weaknesses of the supply chain become visible,” says Richard Wilding, professor of Supply Chain Strategy at Cranfield University, who in conjunction with DHL recently released a white paper envisioning possible changes in supply chains following the current pandemic.
“In the new normal, if your supply chain is the same as the one that you had pre-coronavirus, you're probably doing something wrong," he says.
When it comes to managing the future supply chain, dual sourcing, re-shoring, and near-shoring will become the order of the day, but configuring post-coronavirus workplaces to meet social distancing and sanitation guidelines will also affect the work styles in both warehouses and offices, says Wilding.
“For remote working, information systems will need to be robust and capable of supporting a distributed workforce by providing access to appropriate data and systems. Warehouse processes need to be adapted to the new standards, such as one-way systems, distributed picking faces, or socially distanced packing areas. Just as procuring for resilience will become an increased focus, remote working will disrupt established processes, providing fresh impetus for digitalisation and automation initiatives.”