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When Resilinc CEO Bindiya Vakil first got word of coronavirus cases out of Wuhan in January, she mobilized her clients, Fortune 500 companies, to seek back-up suppliers right away. They scoured the radius around the epicenter of Hubei Province, identified all the parts that were sourced from there, and mapped out possible alternatives.
Early action by the supply chain risk management firm allowed Resilinc’s customers, which include IBM (IBM) and Micron (MU), to continue with fewer disruptions out of China. But with the virus since spreading well beyond Asia and crippling critical factories, firms are finding it increasingly challenging to find workarounds to keep their businesses operating as usual.
“They had already begun discussions by mid-January with those suppliers to get capacity at the backup site. Wuhan didn’t even get knocked down until the 22nd, so our customers had a real head start,” Vakil said in an interview with Yahoo Finance.
Factory closures are limiting access to key components, while airline groundings are delaying shipments, and border closures are forcing companies to reroute their cargo, reducing margins.