June 2020 | Commentary | Good Question

What COVID-19 supply chain pivot impressed you the most? Why?

Tags: Retail, Supply Chain Management, Health Care Logistics

One Million Masks, founded by Shafqat Islam, which has built a digital supply chain. Powered by UPS, they have secured hundreds of thousands of PPE units for hospitals. Furthermore, it demonstrates a supply chain that was built in months that otherwise would have taken years. Over the coming months, we will continue to see this type of rapid innovation from savvy organizations.

—Rob Bailey
CEO & Founder
BackboneAI


Tesla's pivot to ventilators. Tesla tapped its HVAC experts to use parts and raw materials from an existing vehicle HVAC supply chain to design essential medical devices. Developing new products from existing inventory shows a high willingness across the organization and its supply chain to adapt quickly and ensure some manufacturing could continue as part of an essential business offering amid shutdowns.

—Albert Lee
CTO, Odyssey Logistics & Technology


The grocery sector meeting increased demand caused by stay-at-home orders and hoarding behavior. It was fascinating to see the way companies like US Foods, which saw volume plummet as restaurants closed, were able to partner with retailers to loan drivers and workers to meet this demand and keep people employed.

—Jeremy Tancredi
Director, Operations Excellence
West Monroe


Limiting driver-recipient interaction, specifically making signature-less delivery the norm. Not all shippers were comfortable with this before COVID-19, despite more consumers asking for it. This change keeps people safe—and aligns with a growing consumer want.

—Webb Estes
VP, Process Improvement, Estes



From never to right now. All the companies that "could never" work from home...now working from home.

—Kyle Morris
Logistics Solutions Specialist
Ward Transport & Logistics Corp.


Customers strengthening relationships with goods and service providers to navigate production timeframes. Some shippers brought their logistics providers immediately into the fold in February, conducting crisis avoidance analysis daily. These customers helped to innovate alternative supply chains and cooperatively streamline the balance of supply and demand.

—Kirk McCann
Executive Director, North American Development
TransGroup Global Logistics


Pitney Bowes continuing to help businesses manage mail centers. When COVID-19 forced office staff to work from home, Pitney Bowes showed office administrators how to use SendPro Enterprise to maintain centralized cost control, while enabling thousands of employees to ship cost-effectively, efficiently, and safely.

—Bob Malley
Managing Director
Pierbridge


Retailers of all sizes have rapidly adapted. From groceries to home improvement, they've digitized their operations and offered contactless delivery that is scalable and provides end-to-end visibility.

—Bruce Williams
CEO, Haultail


Supply chain scenario analysis helped manage uncertainty and complexity. One customer evaluated close to 150 supply/demand scenarios using supply chain optimization technology to understand end-to-end projected financials and operational implications, including key issues and constraints.

—Roch Gauthier
Senior Director, Product Management
AspenTech


Our supply chain partners seamlessly transitioned to a combination of a remote and rotational workforce without impacting operations. Working within restrictions, the industry continued to meet the needs of the marketplace as well as aggressively pursue solutions.

—Guido Gries
Managing Director
Dachser Americas


Changing the ratio of B2B and B2C over the course of a weekend. So responsive and intellectually elastic; moving from bulk, pallet-based shipping to high-touch, high-volume batched order picking—and ramping to exceptional productivity—was awesome to see and effective. It demonstrated a solid understanding of change management and group leadership with results.

—Don White
CEO North America
SnapFulfil


Dramatically re-tooling production to make priority items (e.g., surgical masks, medical products, hand sanitizer) during COVID-19. Many companies also swiftly adapted the transportation component of their supply chains to prioritize the delivery of these items to distribution centers across the country through the last mile.

—Dave Marshall
Director, Industry Strategy
Descartes


Most logistics companies accelerated their technology integration—in a matter of days rather than years. As companies look to shed their office space, we expect swift migration to data integration between supply chain stakeholders, enhanced data transport innovation, more desktop functionality, and increased video conferencing capabilities.

—Thomas Martucci
VP, Technology
Consolidated Chassis Management


Businesses rethinking supply sources and even the overall route of supply chains. It had to happen rapidly. This has challenged executives managing procurement operations to build in solutions for increased efficiency and flexibility in supply chains to ensure the end result remains as close to business-as-usual as possible.

—Roy Anderson
Chief Procurement Officer
Tradeshift


Companies utilized technology such as mobile route management, analytics for performance monitoring, and supply and demand planning for inventory management, to fill the gap with supply chain import and export distribution issues.

—Kevin Beasley
CIO, VAI


The way the market pivoted up to meet the initial massive demand at the middle to the end of March. Store shelves may have been wiped out, but they were regularly restocked despite how often the stores were riddled with panic buying.

—Jake McLeod
Chief Commercial Officer, RPM


The Houston Food Bank experienced an unprecedented challenge when COVID-19 simultaneously disrupted their distribution network of volunteer organizations and demand increased due to a sharp rise in unemployment. An AI-powered application was developed and deployed within weeks to reveal the most underserved areas and prioritize limited resources.

—Dr. Madhav Durbha
Group Vice President, Industry Strategy
LLamasoft


Forward-thinking manufacturers quickly pivoted business to meet the needs of front-line pandemic workers—producing face shields, masks, and other essential supplies. These unsung heroes deliver a nationwide service that highlights American entrepreneurship, the value of smart factory technologies like 3D printing, and the importance of flexible production.

—James Crean
Co-founder, President, and CTO
CREAN Inc.






Visit Our Sponsors