Yossi Sheffi writes: When companies cannot meet the full demands of their customers, leaders need to set clear decision criteria and the mechanisms to back them up. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal life and many supply chains. Between hoarding (such as toilet paper), unexpected demand surges (such as yeast, for baking), and spot supply shortages (because of factories or warehouses closed due to infection or mandate), some products are in short supply.
Christopher Mejía Argueta speaks with Univison about the current state of the food and grocery supply chains. Watch below (in Spanish):
When the coronavirus began to spread, it was common for grocery stores to limit toilet paper to one package per customer. Now some stores are placing caps on packages of beef, pork, and chicken. Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, talks to host Krys Boyd [of NPR's Think podcast] about how COVID-19 is impacting the U.S. food supply chain and what that means for your family’s shopping list.
Kai Trepte, Jim Rice, and Walid Klibi discuss how sales and operations planning can be adapted to be more resilient in the face of disruption:
Most sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes do a good job of increasing supply chain efficiencies and reducing costs. But they often don't handle major disruptions well. Here's how to make the process more resilient.
Joseph F. Coughlin writes: COVID-19 is shaping Gen Z's attitudes toward all institutions, government, employers, experts & brands. The contagion is also forging Gen Z's view of traditions, having children, retirement even globalization. COVID-19's impact isn't in a year or two, it will be in decades, and Gen Z is its vector. My daughter stares into the screen. This is not just another TikTok moment. She is in her high school English class; this is education, COVID-19 style. Screens have taken over the classroom and in no sense has their invasion stopped there.
Alexis Bateman and Ken Cottrill write,
Companies have long known that visibility into the workplace practices of far-flung offshore suppliers is an essential component of supply chain risk management. Many enterprises lack that visibility, even though it is becoming increasingly important across global supply chains. The COVID-19 crisis is now making it clear that workplace conditions closer to home may need to come under similar scrutiny.
Given recent supply chain implications of the coronavirus outbreak, MIT CTL faculty and researchers have responded with observations and advice for companies. Through academic publications, articles, news commentary, webinars, and various other media, the Center strives to stay alert to late-breaking developments and serve as a resource for deeper discussion.
Christopher Mejía Argueta and Alexis Bateman are quoted in Vice. “The empty shelves will continue for a while. said Christopher Mejía Argueta, a research scientist at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. But if I have someone in front of me who is going to start panicking about the empty shelves, what I would tell that person is, 'you don't need to worry.
The driver of that Grand Cherokee may have run the red light for any number of reasons: he was late, reckless, or maybe even malicious. But more likely, he simply didn’t notice.
“We are less situationally aware as a society than perhaps we’ve ever been,” says Bryan Reimer, associate director of MIT’s New England University Transportation Center, where he studies driver safety, among other topics. Distracted driving is nothing new, of course. But distraction today is different from the absentminded daydreaming of the pre-smartphone era."
Yossi Sheffi, director of [the Center for Transportation & Logistics] at MIT, believes the U.S. food supply system has performed “miraculously” during the pandemic.
"You may not be able to get the cut you like … so you’ll get a different cut," says Sheffi. "Let me be clear, there are spot shortages here and there. What the supply chains (are) experiencing are unprecedented changes in demand."
Alexis Bateman, director of the MIT Sustainable Supply Chains program, said
"Empty shelves in supermarkets have pushed consumers to look locally for their food — as evidenced by a surge in community-supported agriculture. It’s a clear opportunity for consumers ‘to double down on farmers' markets and locally produced food."
Yossi Sheffi, professor of engineering systems and director of the Center for Transportation at MIT, discussed the impact on the oil market’s supply chain. Listen to the podcast at the title link.
Dr. Joseph Coughlin writes: In the span of a few short days, millions of Americans of all ages have gone from our often-harried daily routines to living and working at home. Many of us are experiencing this change not as a liberating day off or a snow day, but as an anxiety-producing semi- or full-isolation.
MIT Professor Yossi Sheffi speaks with Bloomberg's Scarlet Fu and Romaine Bostick on the collapse of the food supply chain and the crash in oil.
Jim Rice writes in Inside Story: The question at hand for most organizations now is how to restart, to reconstitute your operations back towards what will surely be a new normal. If your company is working as part of a critical network to satisfy heightened demand for PPE, food, medical, sanitizing suppliers – your challenge is different than those firms operating at significantly reduced capacity.
Bryan Reimer quoted in Fast Company
The hype about autonomous vehicles misses one key point: Humans will still be vitally necessary for a very long time. “The biggest myth about automation is the more automation, the less you need human expertise. Actually, the more you automate, the more you need to educate, where, when, how etc.,” observes Bryan Reimer, PhD, a research scientist at MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, a researcher in the AgeLab, and associate director of the New England University Transportation Center.
Yossi Sheffi is quoted in Vox
“We admire the way that the system works,” Yossi Sheffi, a supply chain expert and the director of MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, told Vox. “The virus is still moving from state to state and it’s not uniform all over the country, so the demand patterns are changing all the time. But at the end of the day, we don’t see it as a real danger that we will run out of food.”
Chris Mejía, Director of the Food and Retail Operations Lab (FaROL), shares some good news: "I am very certain we are not going to run out of food."
“I think we’re overreacting,” says Chris Mejia-Argueta, director of the Food and Retail Operations Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, referring to reports of disruptions to the food industry. “I am very certain we’re not going to run out of food.”
CGTN's Roee Ruttenberg spoke with Yossi Sheffi, professor at MIT and director of the Center for Transportation & Logistics, about reopening the U.S. economy.
Yossi Sheffi joins CNBC's “Squawk Alley” to discuss how the coronavirus outbreak could hurt global business.
Yossi Sheffi writes: Just-in-time principles have hampered hospitals responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and it will take government action to fix the problem over the long term. As we struggle to come to terms with the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the most frustrating sights is witnessing front-line health-care workers begging for more masks, protective gowns, testing kits, ventilators, and intensive-care beds. The woeful performance of these health-care supply chains raises the question of how such glaring shortages happened.
Yossi Sheffi spoke with Yahoo! Finance about how the just-in-time model and supplier diversification in light of the coronavirus: “For many companies, changing the entire model just doesn’t make sense. As Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, told Yahoo Finance, there are just too many advantages of “just-in-time” that go beyond cost. There are more speed and agility, but also more quality. When an auto production line experiences a problem with a part, for example, you have a pile of parts and swap a new one in.
Prof. Yossi Sheffi spoke to Mother Jones about the US government's efforts to manage medical supplies and supply chains amid the pandemic: “Trump had a lot of people to choose from, says Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and a supply chain expert. ‘There are many, many competent people around,’ he says. ‘We have some of the largest companies in the world who are running global supply chains [and] have contractor relationships all over the world. There are literally thousands of them.
This scenario was created in 2006 by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics as part of a simulation exercise that involved executives from a real-life company who took on the roles of Vaxxon’s fictitious emergency response team.