Bayer: COVID-19’s impact on the supply chain

By Sean Galea-Pace
In June’s magazine of Supply Chain Digital, we spoke with Michele Palumbo, Head of Supply Chain Management at Bayer, on COVID-19’s impact on the sec...

The coronavirus has affected organisations from all types of industries throughout the world. In regards to the supply chain and logistics space, Palumbo has been quick to praise its response. “COVID-19 in late February emerged with the first three cases of coronavirus in Lodi, where our LSP Silvano Chiapparoli Logistica principal warehouse is located. We immediately engaged the second warehouse, located in the centre of the country, to switch roles in the distributive network and minimise the impact of quarantined areas, where it was difficult to enter or get out. Special medical assistance was immediately settled, and a specific COVID-19 protocol was implemented to grant safety conditions for the active workers. Redundancy in the distributive network and distributed stock in two warehouses allowed an exceptional result.”

Palumbo believes the impact of the coronavirus is only the “latest disruptive event that is accelerating the evolution of supply chains towards collaborative ecosystems able to cope with big challenges and take advantage of them by improving their response capabilities.” He does go on to add that the speed of which medical supplies were able to be transported globally was incredible. “I have to say how reactive the supply chain has been in particular to cope with this disease, certainly in relation to transporting the medical supplies that are required worldwide, as well as the level of collaboration between colleagues from all around the world,” he explains. “I would have never imagined having meetings in the middle of the night, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. That's really impressive and something that we'll never, never forget.”


Over the coming years, Palumbo anticipates that the future for supply chains will change as a result of the virus. “The logistic system will become extremely local and decentralised as a result of COVID-19, which will be a huge challenge for the future for organisations to compete with a completely different shift in approach,” he says. “COVID-19 is accelerating the trends of the Personalised, Automated and Local approach. From my perspective, it’s very important that in the future there will be local abilities to serve the customers in an extremely agile, reactive and proactive approach. It will be a fundamental change.”

To read the full feature in June’s magazine, click here!


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