COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe and has impacted the supply chain. As a result of the virus, global manufacturing contracted in February by the most since 2009, with production taking its biggest plunge in almost two decades. The outbreak is straining the just-in-time supply chains on which many businesses around the world are now dependent on.

Review & Analyze

COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe and has impacted the supply chain. As a result of the virus, global manufacturing contracted in February by the most since 2009, with production taking its biggest plunge in almost two decades. The outbreak is straining the just-in-time supply chains on which many businesses around the world are now dependent on.

We work on a global balance of supply and demand. Temporary factory closures in China allied to panic buying and stockpiling of certain products has severely upset that balance. It may take some time for the effects to feed through and indeed even after the threat of pandemic has faded we will still see ripples of delay feeding through the supply chain. This may be obvious to business, less so to customers.

Therefore, firms that anticipate that their service will be impacted by supply chain disruption should ensure they keep customers informed, warning them about potential shortages and providing potential alternatives. At the same time, organizations have a duty to ensure that they dont encourage panic-buying or add to the climate of fear, so the use of language in communications will be key.

During a crisis, consumers will need and demand a rapid response to their queries. Some of this will be reactive – i.e. inbound queries – so firm must ensure their service staff have the information to field questions.

But it would also be wise to be proactive with their customer communications. Waiting on hold in a long queue on a phoneline will only add to the stress, so anticipate what questions would be asked or better still, find out by asking customers themselves what it is they want to know ASAP and then proactively share this information through a variety of platforms, from self-serve FAQ knowledge bases to emails to social posts. Ensure that these communications are regularly updated.

Remember, providing customers with a trusted source of timely information can have a massive impact on customer perceptions of a brand. Help to provide solutions, rather than being part of the problem.

Gartners Augie Ray notes: Be proactive now with information for customers. If you wait for customers to grow concerned and start demanding information from your brand, youll already be too late. If you have not yet, start working on a proactive and reactive communication plan.

Post & Respond

After reviewing the assessment above answer two (2) of the following questions:

Do you agree or disagree with this recommendation, why or why not?
Why are supply chain concepts of such importance to service firms? Consider hospitals, supermarkets, garages, and airlines in your answer.
Service supply chains differ from manufacturing chains in the frequent need to have contact with the customer and to enable them to have a good experience. Explain this with some examples.
In general, what challenges do you think a manufacturer of consumer goods faces in implementing an omnichannel approach?
Gillette has involved itself in omnichannel marketing by establishing a subscription service for razor blades delivered to consumer homes. How does this differ in terms of service outputs from its normal distribution process?
Post your analysis and include at least one reference to support your findings.

Your analysis should be at least three substantial paragraphs. Make your initial post by the fourth day of the module week. You must make your initial post before you can see the posts of your classmates.

RECENT ASSIGNMENTS