Supply Chain Management (SCM), which appeared in the early 1990s, has recently raised much interest since the declaration of COVID-19 as an outbreak by the World Health Organization (WHO). The opportunity of integrated management of the supply chain (SC) can reduce the propagation of unexpected/undesirable events through the network and can affect the well-being of all members decisively. Supply chain management seeks to integrate a plant with suppliers and customers to be managed as a whole. The coordination of input/output flows (materials, information and finances) so that products are produced and distributed in the right quantities, to the right locations, at the right time is the end goal.
The main objective is to achieve suitable economic results together with meeting the desired demand levels of goods [food and medicines]. The design of a new SC, the retrofitting of an existing SC, or the planning of the operation of the chain to meet ever-changing market conditions is a large-scale dynamic decision challenge.
At the operational level, SCM addresses the multisite scheduling under uncertainty of a supply chain comprising several plants, warehouses and retailers, and including also the transport of materials between the various nodes embedded in the network. The operational strategies are generally deterministic with targets set by the S&OP. Deterministic strategies consider all model parameters, such as cost coefficients, production rates, demand, and so on, as being known. These assumptions are not realistic and relevant in the presence of uncertainties due to COVID-19, where supplies and intermodal transportation is far more uncertain than demand. So, all companies must re-plan operational targets with high responsiveness on compromised efficiency.
It is suggested that incorporating demand uncertainty into planning decisions with small horizons would be appropriate. Efficiency should be compromised with agility, to meet customer demand in a COVID outbreak.
BE, PE, CDDP, CSCM, CSCA,CSCP, CSSC
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
Discover how the CSSC Certification Program is Transforming the Careers of Supply Chain Professionals, and assisting organizations transform their supply chains into value chains.
Take advantage of this opportunity to put your company out front, and not only have a well-qualified workforce, but also a workforce that will enjoy their work as they will not only know what they are doing, but perhaps more importantly why they are doing it.
Connecting Minds & Inspire Learning
Take advantage of the FREE Resources available at BicaraSupplyChain. Due to Coronavirus Covid19 and highly stressful conditions we can keep sharing knowledge and advice to solve problems is the most crucial for the future of charities.
Be better prepared for when the world returns to "normal". LEARN from SupplyChain Experts to pick up the pieces after the dust has settled. We broadcast every week and all year around the most up-to-date series of podcasts.