Covid-19 & Risk

Covid-19 & Risk

It seems like it never ends. MLCC and other component shortages from automotive market expansion in 2018, tariffs driving sourcing changes in 2019 and now, in 2020, Coronavirus taking us into completely uncharted waters. Despite some interesting environmental new (for some interesting NO2 pollution photos from the crisis, see https://www.visualcapitalist.com/coronavirus-lockdowns-emissions/), it’s not good at best and possible catastrophic for some. For others like on-line retailers there is a spike in overall demand which (15% to 30% growth) since Covid-19 which, despite panic buying, suggests real demand exists.

I haven’t been blogging this year as I have been writing white papers and instruction guides for our new tools. One of the white papers I am working is about risk and risk mitigation. Hopefully, your company has a business continuity plan that will mitigate some of the Covid-19 damage. An unprecedented event like this one challenges even the best mitigation planning.

The Coved-19 pandemic reveals in stark detail just how unprepared governments and their health care systems were. This failure to anticipate and prepare is unacceptable. This level of unpreparedness in any major corporation would be completely intolerable; their Boards would be taking immediate action on the executive and calling for a thorough review of and updates to their business continuity and risk mitigation plans. The sad point is that it was never a question of “if” a pandemic was coming, only an issue of “when”. Experts were predicting it and Hollywood was making movies about it. The risk was real, the mitigation planning wasn’t.

My praise and respect go out to all of those working to contain the impact of this pandemic and save lives. At Lytica, we are following all recommendations and mandates from government and experts, working from home using video conferencing with group chat and collaboration software and focusing our priorities on short term, impactful activities. So far and thankfully, none of our employees have become ill. We have a daily video conference call with all employees so that we stay together and can check on each other’s wellbeing. It seems to be working quite well. We are ready to help when and where we can.

Right now, the “when and where we can” seems to be in supporting the economic recovery and staying out of the way of those battling the virus and its direct impact. We hear, and can attest through our own beliefs, that the world will be different when this crisis abates. There will be broad recognition of how interconnected and codependent the world is overlaid with acknowledgement that more local self-reliance is needed. This will drive repatriation of supply, a reassessment of the needs of people versus the economy and recognition that the best solutions are not necessarily national ones.

This all brings me back to risk which has been consuming much of my attention. We will be releasing some new risk metrics in our SupplyLens™ product later this quarter. These are derived from mining our reference database and are quite unique in their perspective. I am also thinking hard about how companies assure and balance security of supply and cost in a post Covid-19 environment when little follows the standard rules of thumb of the past.

I am interested in your thoughts. You can write to me directly or post a comment below.  I am also willing to host a group chat on the subject if some of you’re interested.

Stay safe and well. Covid-19 will one day end.

Ken Bradley is the Chairman/CTO & founder of Lytica Inc., a provider of supply chain analytics tools and Silecta Inc., a SCM Operations consultancy.

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