The Government must create rapid response supply chains in case of a second wave


In a report recently released by the Commons International Trade Committee, MPs have warned that stockpiles of essential goods need to be boosted ahead of a possible second wave of coronavirus.

Matthew Woodcock, Director at LLamasoft, a global AI and logistics solutions provider, told IT Supply Chain why the UK Government must also create rapid response supply chains which will be key to bridging a longer-term gap :

  “A stockpile of essential goods is necessary to cover any short term demand or supply uncertainty that could be created by a second spike. However, there must also be equal efforts to cover the medium term. Putting in place a contingency plan which involves rapid response supply chains that are more generic will be key to bridging a longer-term gap. The Government needs to know where the resources are, what supply risks are posed and how quickly they can react. This is especially necessary as more novel diseases, such as COVID-19, continue to present themselves. In these cases, existing drugs and ready-made supply chains may not be immediately to hand.

 Recent advancements powered by algorithmic intelligence and cloud computing are allowing for rapid experimentation and modelling of supply chains. Digital twin technology could allow the UK Government to digitally replicate and test its emergency strategies. This means that in the event of a crisis they could efficiently organise their supply chain to produce an optimum output.

 COVID-19 has reaffirmed what many already knew, preparedness will be key if supply chains are to withstand disruptions caused by Brexit. Most organisations already have extensive plans for all eventualities when it comes to Brexit. However, some may now be adding in extra resilience and innovative technologies to help prepare for unpredictable situations.”