What’s the current state of COVID-19?
Coronavirus COVID-19 is officially a pandemic. This health and humanitarian emergency presents a serious threat to people across the planet. The World Health Organization has now upgraded the global risk to “very high”, confirming that this is unquestionably a serious challenge for humanity.
The priority is to protect the health and safety of people, including in their workplaces. Business leaders must make rapid decisions, and take immediate actions to protect and support their workers while ensuring that critical business operations continue.
What’s the risk to supply chains?
With the virus spreading rapidly and several regions and economies in lockdown, the disruption to supply chains is already severe. The supply chain is critical to getting goods and services quickly, safely and securely to those at risk of infection or who are working at the frontline of the medical response. Business leaders must make rapid decisions, and take immediate actions to sustain business operations to serve their customers, clients and communities, as well as protect and support their workers.
What should you be doing now?
This is not a typical risk event. The scale of the impact eclipses anything most supply chain leaders will have anticipated. The speed of the escalation requires continuous end-to-end assessment, optimisation and monitoring. Companies need to respond rapidly and confidently to shape and execute a short-term tactical plan that will mitigate the risks to human health and protect the functioning of global supply chains. In doing so, strong data and analytics capabilities are crucial in understanding complexity, anticipating potential disruption, and quickly developing a response.
- Within 72 hours: Assess current operations and outline initial recommendations
- Within 1 week: Establish command center and begin rapid response deployment
- Within 2 weeks: Rapidly adjust operations and continue response cycle
- Within 4 weeks: Establish an ongoing operating capability
A continuous cycle of risk mobilising, sensing, analysis, configuration, and operation will help to optimise results and mitigate risks:
What should you be doing going forward?
The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a short-term crisis. It has long-lasting implications for how people work and how supply chains function. There is a pressing need for businesses to build long-term resilience in their value chains for managing future challenges.
This requires holistic approaches to manage the supply chain. Companies must build in sufficient flexibility to protect against future disruptions. They should also consider developing a robust framework that includes a responsive and resilient risk management operations capability. That capability should be technology-led, leveraging platforms that support applied analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. It should also ensure end-to-end transparency across the supply chain. In the long-term, risk response will need to become an integral part of business-as-usual protocols.
How can Accenture help?
We’re here to assist our clients not only in navigating the immediate challenges of the global COVID-19 crisis but also in creating responsive, adaptable and intelligent supply chains that will build resilience for the future.