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COVID-19 Exit Strategy: a Supply Chain Perspective

After 2+ weeks of lockdown of people and industry, industry supply chains have come to a halt and shortage of essential products are slowly appearing in retail.

Containers are piling up in ports, shortage of reefer plugs at ports causing breakage in cool chains, expiring stocks in warehouses, logistics challenges through roadblocks and movement restrictions even imposed to the trade and logistics sector, creating shortages in retail in the weeks to come. Today, most of the airfreight is transported by passenger airlines. As passenger airlines have been put on the ground and cargo airplanes are being utilized for medical shipments, the air cargo market has come to its knees.

As 50-70% of the SMEs have cashflow problems within 30 days, providing the industrial backbone of economies, the number of SMEs going out of business in the coming weeks will be exponential and will trigger a tsunami of supply chain disruptions.

Governments will have a mammoth task to fixing not only their economies, but also their broken industrial supply chains. Governments do not have supply chain expertise and understanding the extent supply chains are interconnected.

The corona virus might have been the trigger, but the industry lockdown created a war zone. This requires a post-war national crisis cabinet with a supply chain advisory committee consisting of industry & supply chains experts and top academics to advise the national crisis cabinet.

This supply chain advisory committee should come together on a weekly basis to steer the national crisis cabinet on prioritizing government policies and actions in rebuilding their industrial supply chains. Their main task of the supply chain advisory committee is making the best decisions possible in removing supply chain bottlenecks and getting the industrial supply chains back to speed! The supply chain advisory committee will be pivotal in avoiding an economic depression.

It is all hands on deck now to get out of this, and full steam ahead!



Dr. Marco Tieman
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
LBB International

Marco Tieman, the is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of LBB International, a supply chain strategy consultancy & research firm with offices in The Netherlands, Malaysia and Indonesia. He has been the trusted advisor to governments and private sector on supply chain analysis, supply chain design, and market research. He is a full professor with Help University in Malaysia, teaching supply chain management at MBA and DBA level and conducting research in this area. He is also a Research Fellow with the University of Malaya Halal Research Centre in Malaysia, conducting research in the area of halal purchasing, halal supply chain management, and halal risk & reputation management. He has a MSc. In Industrial Engineering & Management Science from the Twente University (the Netherlands) and a PhD in Business Management from UiTM (Malaysia). In his free time, he enjoys walking, sailing, and jazz music. He lives since 2003 in Malaysia.

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