As Coronavirus COVID-19 creates disruption to global supply chains, new guidance is released....

As Coronavirus COVID-19 creates disruption to global supply chains, new guidance is released for procurement, business and supply chain professionals. Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having significant effects around the world threatening human health and also global and local economies and day to day business operations.

Travel, logistics and supply chains are being disrupted, with the flow of raw materials and finished goods interrupted or permanently halted. Workforces are also being impacted as employees become ill or are quarantined in cities and regions of the world.


Supply chain managers will have to act very quickly to build stocks of essential goods or seek alternative sources of supply to minimise further shortages and keep supply chains running. CIPS (The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply), the largest professional body in the world for procurement and supply management has released free guidance on what supply chain managers and anyone with a responsibility for buying can do to reduce significant impacts on their business and organisations.

Malcolm Harrison, Group CEO, CIPS said, “Efforts to contain the virus are ramping up, but maintaining the flow of goods in global supply chains feels like it might be a leaky bucket - when one issue is resolved, another appears.”

Practical steps in the guidance includes:

  • Prioritising high risk supply sources not just by geography, but sector and importance to the business
  • Analysing all tiers of a supply chain to understand the risk of exposure to affected regions in the world
  • Keeping communication channels open with key suppliers
  • Factoring increased transit times for alternative ports and for perishable goods; etc,

Harrison continues, “This black swan event is now beginning to seriously de-rail supply chains and affect business productivity in addition to the cost in human lives. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping for the best will not do.  We must all remain vigilant to reduce the effects of the pandemic through strong sourcing strategies, an understanding of forecast accuracy, and supply chains which are short, agile – or sufficient levels of stock.”

The guidance includes practical steps and an overview of the disruption to supply chains and sectors so far, and is freely available from the CIPS website.

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