COVID-19/Supply Chain Management

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SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Learning Resource supports the SDGs - UN-Guidelines[1]

In a crisis it is very important on the global, national, regional and local scale to keep the supply chains up and working especially for the

  • health care system,
  • energy and water supply,
  • food and drinking resource,
  • ...

Panic Buying and Mathematics[edit]

(Systems Thinking) Assume 100 people and 100 packages of a specific product is available and currently there is enough for everyone (i.e. one package per person). Assume people start to panic and they think they should take two instead of one and the panic due the COVID-19 pandemics (e.g. toiletpaper and noodles in Germany). The panic buying of the 100 people now lead to a situation that only 50 people have access to the resource. 50 people went away empty-handed. Now the people assume that there is a supply chain crisis for the product (e.g. toiletpaper) and people start to buy 5 packs instead of 2 packs. Now the situation gets even worse because only 20 people out of 80 have access to the product. The supply chain crisis is not getting worse because of the fact that the demand can be covered only with fraction of 20%. It is getting worse because people panic and take more than they really need and not becaue the supply chain management could cover 20% of the demand.

Lesson learnt: Our behaviour is a main factor in the Risk Management and for the Supply Chain Management. Think about that when you go shopping (further reading in Wikiversity Swarm Intelligence)

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