New survey: 85% of supply chains hit by reductions during COVID-19 pandemic

A new supply chain impact study from global consultancy leaders Infosys Consulting, has found that 85% of global supply chains faced a reduction in operations during the pandemic, and that 1 in 12 leaders believe their business will “never recover”.

The report interviewed top supply chain executives from around the world on the impact of COVID-19 on their operations, and the findings signal critical issues for leaders within supply chain, logistics, manufacturing and retail.


Key findings from the 2020 COVID-19 Supply Chain Impact Survey :

  • 85% of supply chains faced a reduction in operations

  • Over half (57%) of supply chains reduced by at least ¼, and 6% shut down all together

  • Just 13% said that their supply chains exceeded normal operations

  • Overconfidence was rife, as before the pandemic hit, 77% believed their supply chains were ready for major disruption, but during COVID-19, only 39% agreed

  • Less than 10% felt “prepared”



  • 61% believe their business will fully recover within 6 months

  • A further 21% believe it could take between 6 months and a year

  • However, 1 in 12 businesses (8%) believe their business will never recover

  • The top 3 most impacted parts of the supply chain were: sourcing and procurement (65%), warehousing & distribution (48%) and supplier networks (43%)

  • The top 3 areas most in need of strengthening against future disruption were: demand forecasting (43%), readiness and continuity planning (39%) and inventory management (39%)


Andrew Duncan, Partner and UK CEO of Infosys Consulting, commented: “It is reassuring to see that supply chain executives are optimistic about future recovery, despite the ongoing disruptions and challenges ahead. However, many organisations were overconfident in their ability to weather a major disruption, indicating the need for better strategies, tools and planning moving forward.

“Digital tools and analytics will be a fundamental part of building resilience in the future, helping us better able to navigate uncertain supply and demand, adjust to disruptions in operations and supply chains, and adapt to sharp changes in consumer confidence and priorities. This is particularly important in the UK, where the economically disruptive ‘cliff-edge’ outcome of a no-deal Brexit still remains possible. Friction at the border could lead to longer delivery times and critical production holdups. Such an outcome will significantly extend the post-crisis recovery in our supply chains that we were hoping for in 2021 and beyond.”



The 2020 COVID-19 survey was conducted by the Infosys Consulting Supply Chain Management practice, to better understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted supply chains in our global economy. It surveyed 78 supply chain professionals, 42% of whom were VP or above – among them, 53% were based in North America, 37% in Europe, 6% in India, and 4% in Asia Pacific.



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