In the wake of an unexpected event — like the spread of coronavirus in China that has quarantined workers, temporarily shuttered factories, cancelled flights and shaken markets — it’s often said that every company’s business and supply chain will be significantly impacted, says Bindiya Vakil, CEO of Resilinc, a Milpitas, California-based provider of supply chain risk management research and analytics.
However, she adds, that sentiment is inaccurate. “This event will not equally affect every company,” Vakil told reporters and procurement professionals during a web seminar last week. “It doesn’t. People who have more information and are better prepared have an arbitrage opportunity to get inventory from (available) suppliers and go grab it before anyone else.”
In the web seminar “Planning, Preparedness, and Proactive Actions Updates for Coronavirus,” Vakil said businesses should expect supply chain disruptions for three to six months. From a manufacturing and procurement perspective, such an outbreak — which has infected more than 17,000 people and killed more than 360 — could not have happened in a worse locale, given China’s status as a manufacturing and logistics behemoth. “Given that this is such a vital region to supply chains,” Vakil said, “it is really critical to make plans for the coming weeks and months. To do that, you need to be on top of the various scenarios.”
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