BENGALURU: Disruptions are normal but Covid-19 has thrown a huge challenge to the world disrupting the global supply chain. “Many of us had to close operations and make decisions that affect livelihoods, leaving people helpless. It makes us wonder what we could have done differently, said Jim Rice, deputy director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL).
Rice was speaking on ‘Supply Chain and Seven Core Resilience Capabilities’ in a virtual forum organised by the Bengaluru-based strategic think tank ‘Synergia Foundation’ on Friday. He said that the Covid pandemic is “unique”.
The loss of the seven core resilience capabilities — acquiring materials, transporting, capacity to communicate, convert, human resources, financial flows and distribution to customers -- in the pandemic is greater than any other disaster. “There are infinite ways that supply chains are affected. Can the organisations mitigate every source of financial, strategic, operational risk? Not really,” said Rice.
“Covid has caused huge losses in transport, finance and all the resilience capabilities. Fortunately, many of these capabilities have been recreated using online resources,” he added. Janat Shah, Director, IIM, Udaipur, said that disruptions are inevitable. “Lack of disruptions can be worrying. But the issue with Covid-19 is that it is different in scale, scope and timeframe,” said Shah.
Assessing the impact of the pandemic on the industry, Shah said that some industries like hospitality and travel are going to be badly affected. There are, however, some medium-scale firms, which were agile and quick to respond to the emerging needs in the pandemic.
“One Bengaluru-based company, before the lockdown, made sure that laptops and facilities were available to homes. They have increased the number of customers too,” he said.He added that “risk management, being aware of our vulnerabilities and our response to the disruptions should be on top of the agenda.”
Udayant Malhoutra, CEO and MD, Dynamatic Technologies, spoke about the challenge the industry is facing in balancing resilience, agility and economic flexibility.