Coronavirus has given rise to huge cross-industry disruptions, shining a light on the importance of effective inventory management in the supply chain. As the world grapples with the human and economic crisis unravelling before us, inventory and supply chains are finding themselves squarely within the public eye and experiencing unique challenges of their own. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, companies experienced abrupt shifts in customer demand and channel preferences. In March 2020, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) conducted a survey that focused on the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on supply chains. Nearly 75% percent of companies reported supply chain disruptions. Retailers and consumer goods are facing an unprecedented disruption in supply and demand due to COVID-19 and the rapid shutdown in business in the United States and around the world. As short-term consumer demand shifts from wants to needs, and some consumers hoard food and medical supplies, retailers are being faced with massive shifts in demand for their products, with some seeing demand fall to near zero.
At the beginning of the year, when Covid-19 first made headlines, inhabitants of cities, countries and continents across the world could never have imagined the wide-reaching and debilitating impact the virus would have over the ensuing months. Its rapid spread has since sent shockwaves worldwide; driving people indoors on “lockdown,” putting pressure on global health services, and ultimately changing life as we know it.