Afternoon Coffee: Coronavirus shows supply chain weaknesses; Smithfield closes largest pork plant; U.S. may face rolling shutdowns; Amazon creates a wait list for food delivery services

Tomasz-Zajda/Adobe Stock

One of the issues that has come to light from the coronavirus crisis is that procurement professionals face more challenges than just spend management. While physical supply chains are severely disrupted, or even shut down, it is a lack of integrated digital capabilities that makes supply chains unmanageable.

Spend Matters' Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explores ways to bolster supply chains with lessons already learned from the coronavirus disruption. Read his insights in today's Spend Matters PRO post, which has been published outside the paywall.

COVID-19 is a chance for businesses to prepare for supply chain disruptions

A new editorial piece from Fortune highlights the needs for companies to make fundamental changes now to be better prepared for future supply chain shocks. The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how unprepared and vulnerable many companies are, since many businesses and industries have experienced significant delays and complications to global supply chains.

The post highlights several things businesses can do to prepare for future disruptions to the supply chain. It suggests taking the time to digitize as many processes as possible, build a crisis management team and gain visibility to their supply chain.

Smithfield shuts U.S. pork plant indefinitely

The world’s biggest pork processor Smithfield Foods has announced it will shut its plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, indefinitely because of a series of employees being afflicted with the coronavirus.

Reuters reported that the company also warned that meat packing facilities are being shut down in the coronavirus era and that meat production in the U.S. was moving “perilously close to the edge” in supplies for grocers.

Earlier, Smithfield had temporarily closed its South Dakota plant, but had now decided to extend it. The plant plans to reopen after more discussion with  government officials.

U.S. may face 18 months of rolling shutdowns

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari has warned that without a vaccine or therapy for COVID-19, the U.S. economy could face 18 months of rolling shutdowns, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

Kashkari told CBS’s “Face the Nation” over the weekend, “We’re looking around the world. As they relax the economic controls, the virus flares back up again.” Kashkari is a voter in 2020 on the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

“We could have these waves of flareups, controls, flareups and controls until we actually get a therapy or a vaccine. I think we should all be focusing on an 18-month strategy for our healthcare system and our economy.”

Amazon to create waitlist for food delivery services 

Amazon is making changes to its food delivery business because of the roaring demand for online food delivery during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from CNN. The new plan includes creating a waitlist for new shoppers and a “virtual place in line.”

Amazon announced on its official blog that it will require new customers to “sign up for an invitation” if they want to begin ordering food through Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh. These efforts are an attempt to help meet its order capacity, which the company has boosted by 60% in the last few weeks, according to the report.

Spend Matters PRO offer extended a month

Through this month, a Spend Matters' special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off. The discount applies to PRO subscription content from our analysts and other services. — Learn more

Read all of Spend Matters’ coronavirus coverage here.

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