Purpose The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions and revealed the fragilities in supply chains. This crisis has re-opened the debate on supply chain resilience and sustainability. This paper aims to investigate distinct impacts of COVID-19 on supply chains. It identifies both short- and medium-to-long-term measures taken to mitigate the different effects of the pandemic and highlights potential transformations and their impacts on supply chain sustainability and resilience. Design/methodology/approach To address the purpose of the study, a qualitative research approach based on case studies and semi-structured interviews with 15 practitioners from various supply chain types and sectors was conducted. Studied organizations included necessary and non-necessary supply chain sectors, which are differently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings This study reveals five main challenges facing supply chains during COVID-19, including uncertain demand and supply, suppliers' concentration in specific regions, globalized supply chains, reduced visibility in the supply network, and limited supplier capacity. To help mitigate these challenges and develop both sustainability and resilience, this paper identifies some mitigating actions focusing on the promotion of the health and wellbeing of employees and supply chain stabilization. Further, in the post-COVID era, sustainable and resilient supply chains should consider regionalization of the supply chain, diversification of the supply network, agility, collaboration, visibility, and transparency; and should accelerate the use of smart technologies and circular economy practices as dynamic capabilities to improve supply chain resilience and sustainability. Originality/value This study contributes to exploring the sustainability- and resilience-related challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its findings can be used by researchers and supply chains decision-makers to limit disruptions and improve responsiveness, resilience, sustainability, and restoration of supply chains. The results support benchmarking through sharing of the best practices and organizations can also integrate the different capabilities discussed in this study into the processes of selection and auditing of their suppliers.

Digital technologies and circular economy practices: vital enablers to support sustainable and resilient supply chain management in the post-COVID-19 era

Andrea Chiarini
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Purpose The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions and revealed the fragilities in supply chains. This crisis has re-opened the debate on supply chain resilience and sustainability. This paper aims to investigate distinct impacts of COVID-19 on supply chains. It identifies both short- and medium-to-long-term measures taken to mitigate the different effects of the pandemic and highlights potential transformations and their impacts on supply chain sustainability and resilience. Design/methodology/approach To address the purpose of the study, a qualitative research approach based on case studies and semi-structured interviews with 15 practitioners from various supply chain types and sectors was conducted. Studied organizations included necessary and non-necessary supply chain sectors, which are differently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings This study reveals five main challenges facing supply chains during COVID-19, including uncertain demand and supply, suppliers' concentration in specific regions, globalized supply chains, reduced visibility in the supply network, and limited supplier capacity. To help mitigate these challenges and develop both sustainability and resilience, this paper identifies some mitigating actions focusing on the promotion of the health and wellbeing of employees and supply chain stabilization. Further, in the post-COVID era, sustainable and resilient supply chains should consider regionalization of the supply chain, diversification of the supply network, agility, collaboration, visibility, and transparency; and should accelerate the use of smart technologies and circular economy practices as dynamic capabilities to improve supply chain resilience and sustainability. Originality/value This study contributes to exploring the sustainability- and resilience-related challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its findings can be used by researchers and supply chains decision-makers to limit disruptions and improve responsiveness, resilience, sustainability, and restoration of supply chains. The results support benchmarking through sharing of the best practices and organizations can also integrate the different capabilities discussed in this study into the processes of selection and auditing of their suppliers.
2022
COVID-19
Digital technologies
Supply chain management
Sustainability
Dynamic capabilities
Circular economy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1082309
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