The Amazing Supply Chain of Medical Supplies
Over the last few months, the demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has increased dramatically around the world. This protective equipment has never been needed before in such capacities and is, therefore, not available in the sheer quantities needed.
Even if it is available, reduced shipping, freight flights and passenger flights, which account for roughly 50% of freight moved by air, make it more difficult to move this PPE from the production location to where it is needed.
However, in order to try and prevent this shortage from becoming a problem, many global businesses have repurposed their supply chains in order to make and deliver PPE.
Scrubs, Masks and Visors
Hospital scrubs, as well as masks and visors, are being needed in such large quantities that many businesses, who are not usually involved in these supply chains, have repurposed their supply chains to help either make or deliver these supplies.
For example, luxury handbag manufacturer Mulberry mobilised its staff in its UK factory to make reusable scrubs for staff in the NHS. While at the same time, Airbus is making PPE to deliver to hospitals in Spain.
Hand sanitizer faced unprecedented demand when the coronavirus outbreak began. This has led to a shortage of hand sanitizer. To help combat this shortage some brewers have begun repurposing their brewing supply chains to make hand sanitizer.
The Budweiser brewer is working with its partners and distribution networks to both package and distribute disinfectant alcohol as well as transforming the alcohol into hand sanitizer.
The company is also donating over 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant to hospitals.
When the pandemic ends and we go back to normality, the demand for PPE and other medical supplies will decrease and demand for other goods and services should rise again to ordinary levels. As a result, the businesses, which have converted their supply chains to produce or help deliver PPE, will go back to their ordinary routines.