Responding to COVID-19 Global Crise – Best Practices for Supply Chain Management

The measures put in place in Switzerland, in Russia and all over the world to limit the spread of COVID-19 have profoundly affected the supply chains that have been expanding globally since the 1980s. This unprecedented disruption has exposed the many flaws in today's supply chains - a lack of visibility on flows, particularly upstream, single source of supply, poorly dimensioned stocks - but it has also demonstrated the resilience of some industries that have been able to react very quickly. As shown in Figure 1, crises have "temporal and spatial repercussions that can be consequential" [1].

Impact of the crises on GDP growth (World Economic Forum, 2020)

                                   Figure 1: Impact of the crises on GDP growth [2]

Companies must now demonstrate resilience, “the ability of a global supply chain to reorganize and deliver its core function continually, despite the impact of external and or internal shocks to the system” [3]. Lockdown measures have forced many companies to fundamentally change the way they buy and sell goods and services and turn more digital. Supply chain digitalization should allow for shorter response time and quicker adaptation to change and play a crucial role for the company resilience. In particular, IoT, Cyber-Physical Systems, blockchain and smart contract allow the realization of peer-to-peer networks that can mitigate risks in times of increased risks and uncertainty [4].

The aim of this project is to share best practices between Russia and Switzerland in terms of digital supply chain management in response to abrupt changes to limit the spread of COVID-19.

This will allow:

  • To maintain the established collaboration between Samara State University of Economics and HE-Arc in Switzerland
  • To further develop complementary skills in both academic institutions
  • To train young researchers in digital supply chain management
  • To reinforce interdisciplinary (engineering and management) projects

HE-Arc is currently conducting a study (from May 2020 to October 2020) about best practices in supply chain management in Switzerland using quantitative and qualitative approaches in partnership with IPG consulting group and VNL (Verein Netwerk Logistik) Switzerland . The Samara State University of Economics will run a similar survey in the Samara region in order to make correlations. The results of the surveys and interviews will be then analyzed and shared during events that will be organized in Russia and in Switzerland. Other applied research projects such as “impact of smart contracts in supply chain management” and “hospital operations and supply chain optimization” will be presented too. At the end of the project, an online webinar will be organized with private companies to discuss about proven solutions they have put in place to face COVID-19. The purpose is to better understand and discuss the impact of large-scale crises on supply chain management and how digitalization improves the response to such events compared to traditional solutions. Target audience will be academics and companies interested in a collaboration between Switzerland & Russia and willing to further study and implement innovative solutions.


Haute école Arc, HES-SO:

Samara State University of Economics: