The Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has impacted 280 supplier sites near Wuhan, China, according to Bindiya Vakil, chief executive officer of Resilinc, a provider of cognitive supply chain monitoring and mitigation solutions. Businesses could experience supply chain disruptions for three to six months, which is comparable to disruptions caused by the swine flu in 2009.
The government extended the Chinese New Year holiday from January 31 to February 10 in many cities, shutting down businesses and transportation systems and keeping factory workers at home.
The industries most affected by the disruption include aerospace, automotive, general manufacturing, consumer goods, consumer electronics, food and beverage, life sciences, and industrial chemicals, among others. Items hit hard in the pharmaceutical industry include hospital gowns, which are in short supply.
Here are five ways manufacturers with primary and sub-tier suppliers in the region can plan ahead:
1. Anticipate scenarios, such as generating time horizons and reviewing inventory levels among suppliers.
2. Look to suppliers and subcontractors outside the organization to ensure readiness.
3. Communicate internally and externally.
4. Train your employees.
5. Connect the dots among suppliers—you are only as strong as your weakest supplier.