JAGGAER: vaccine distribution demands risk mitigation
Following difficulties surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine distribution experienced in Europe and America, JAGGAER emphasises the need for supply chain risk mitigation procedures within businesses.
“With any supply chain, it is vital to be aware of the risks and everything that could go wrong. National security issues, poor coordination, limited capacity, misinformation, shortage of personnel, vaccine damage and logistical difficulties in reaching rural areas have all contributed to the challenges faced by many countries,” commented Thomas Dieringer, President for Europe Middle East and Africa, JAGGAER.
“Supply shortages to make the vaccine has been perhaps one of the major issues. Distribution has been hampered by the drug makers inability to produce the number of vaccines initially planned. The vaccine comprises several components and raw materials that have been subject to a fragile supply chain, built at record speed. Understandably delays have occurred as a result of setting up supply chains while still developing the vaccine,” ne added.
Critical supply chain mitigation steps
According to JAGGAER there are multiple critical supply chain mitigation steps that organisations need to adopt to address the issue.
Such steps are centred around:
- Business impact analysis
- Assessing and monitoring existing suppliers
- Reducing the concentration of supply
- Working hand-in-hand with suppliers
- Proactively managing threats
With COVID-19 having significant impact on a range of businesses all over the world, JAGGAER states that in a white paper by the Institute of Supplier Management - - 95% of respondents reported that their supply chains have been or will be impacted by the spread. Results also identified that one in five reported continuity distribution as one of the top three impacts.
“Understanding when the supply chain has been impacted, and indeed what suppliers have been impacted is crucial. However, perhaps even more important is a system that supports finding alternatives to ensure any disruption is minimised," added Dieringer.
Visibility and digital supply networks
COVID-19 has emphasised the need for broad visibility in both demand and supply across the entire system. JAGGAER states that this is not just visibility into immediate sources, but into upstream suppliers of materials and components. “In turn, distributors need to understand the demand from their customers better and share this knowledge with manufacturers.”
To further increase visibility, JAGGAER recommends organisations to utilise digital supply networks, instead of relying on conventional linear models. “Digital supply networks are dynamic and integrated and will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence technology to provide fast and continuous information and analytics flows. This can empower organisations to stay connected with their entire supply network and deal with major disruptions such as those caused by Covid-19. There also needs to be greater cooperation at a local, regional, and international level, in particular, to develop contingency plans to prepare for the next crisis,” said JAGGAER.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.