This Week in Consulting

Wednesday, May 13th 2020

How is Digital helping the Manufacturing Industry survive the crisis​?


The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has hit global supply chains hard. Consumer fear has led to the hoarding of everything from toilet paper to bottled water, and merchants can’t keep up. Just look at the empty shelves at Target, CVS and other big-name retailers. The Consumer-Packaged Goods industry is ramping up production, and some retailers have responded by limiting purchases of high-demand items. Businesses in these sectors shouldn’t wait for the emergency to calm down to evaluate what they should do to plan for, and mitigate against, future supply chain disruptions​​.

The coronavirus crisis could be a trigger for many companies to embrace digitalization. Digital Supply Chain solutions allow establishing an interconnected network of supply chain components. Executives have more accurate information on hand to make decisions.

This Week’s Must Read is an insight piece from Ashish Rastogi on Digital Solutions in Supply Chains.

Read on to Find out More: “How Digital Solutions Can Create More Resilient Supply Chains | Ashish Rastogi, The Smart Cube for SDC Executive.

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  • Managing a manufacturing plant through the coronavirus crisis: “As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, manufacturing organizations face significant operational challenges. Some companies have temporarily shuttered factories in response to government restrictions or falling demand, but others are facing significant increases in demand for essential supplies.” The authors offer a guide to worker safety and a warning about increased changes in the work environment during the pandemic. | Vivek Furtado, Tom Kolaja, Curt Mueller, and Julian Salguero, McKinsey
  • As Workers Spread Out to Halt the Virus, Robots Fill the Gaps: “As the coronavirus began to spread through Japan in March, workers at a warehouse in Sugito that processes millions of personal care products each day were overrun by a spike in demand for masks, gloves, soap, and hand sanitizer. To prevent workers from spreading the deadly virus, the company that operates the center, Paltac, introduced temperature checks, masks, and regular decontaminations. In the coming weeks, it plans a more radical solution—hiring more robots.” Do you think that a new breed of robots can help run factories and warehouses as a result of the introduction of social distancing and workplace design? | Will Knight, WIRED
  • Why Digitally Transformed Businesses are Best Positioned to React to the Challenges of Coronavirus:The World Health Organisation’s declaration of Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a global pandemic is unprecedented, a situation the like of which has not been seen in generations. Its effects have been felt worldwide, and its exponential escalation has had a huge impact on the ability of health services to cope with the volume of cases.” Remote working, data-driven decisions, and flexible production… Are digital businesses ready to adapt their operations and supply chains to the current crisis? | Billy Sisk, Rockwell Automation.
  • How factories change production to quickly fight coronavirus: “We suddenly had a business with no customers or income – and if we didn’t do something, and do it very, very quickly, we’d also have no business,” explains the distillery’s managing director Carmen O’Neal. “How do we keep our business running? How do we save the team’s jobs?” Ventilators, plastic visors for British healthcare workers… These are just some of the products that have enabled factories to reinvent themselves to tackle the crisis… How do manufacturers shift their production to adapt to the current needs of their customers and ensure business continuity? | Norman Miller, BBC


  • Pfizer tags 3 U.S. manufacturing sites for possible COVID-19 vaccine launch: “Global coronavirus vaccine makers have been rolling out details about their manufacturing and launch plans—even ahead of any clinical data. Now, Pfizer says it will draw on three sites in the U.S., plus one in Belgium, for the early stages of a launch, provided its BioNTech-partnered shot wins a green light.” | Eric Sagonowsky, FierceMarkets
  • The global food supply chain is passing a severe test: “If you live in the rich world and want an example of trade and global co-operation, look no further than your dinner plate. As the lockdowns began in the West two months ago, many feared that bread, butter and beans would run short, causing a wave of stocking-up. Today, thanks to fleets of delivery lorries filling supermarket shelves, you can binge-eat as you binge-watch.” | The Economist
  • Export Portal Supporting Small Businesses in Unprecedented Global Pandemic:While the global pandemic has caused a lot of challenges for small businesses, support is not hard to come by. We know that as long as we continue to help each other, the strength of SMEs will only grow and expand – no matter the current market difficulties. In this current situation when one cannot welcome customers directly into one’s workshops and stores, Export Portal’s secure online B2B marketplace is the best place to be.” |PRNewswire
  • Apple Gives $10 Million From Its Manufacturing Fund to a COVID-19 Testing Firm : “Apple has awarded $10 million to Copan Diagnostics, a company that manufactures COVID-19 sample collection kits. The funds will help Copan scale up its coronavirus sample-kit production capability from several thousand to over a million kits a week by early July. Apple is drawing on its Advanced Manufacturing Fund — normally reserved for close suppliers like Corning — showing the relative urgency it’s placing on the project.” | Entrepreneur
CEO and Co-Founder at | Website | + posts

Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.

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