As governments and health care agencies work to stop the spread of Covid-19 and to treat those who are infected, manufacturers in more than a dozen industries are struggling to manage the epidemic’s growing impact on their supply chains. Unfortunately, many are facing a supply crisis that stems from weaknesses in their sourcing strategies that could have been corrected years ago.
Many companies are probably also regretting their reliance on a single company for items they directly purchase. Supply-chain managers know the risks of single sourcing, but they do it anyway in order to secure their supply or meet a cost target. Often, they have limited options to choose from, and increasingly those options are only in China.
In many cases, the roots of this current supply-chain crisis stem from decisions made far upstream — for example, sourcing a common plastic resin that is vital to several industries from one supplier or one region. Such decisions cascade down through supply chains, even impacting companies who themselves don’t directly source materials or products from China but whose suppliers do.