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In this Blog you will find a series of IACCM Resources Supporting our Members in Responding to the Now and Preparing for the Future

The only thing vaguely predictable about the current coronavirus crisis is the nature and extent of the media response, with articles about everything from opinions on government tactics, the economic fallout, advice on self-isolating and even “how to wash your hands”!  There is no doubt that today’s media is optimally positioned (and seemingly determined) to incite fear and panic across the world.

That said, the impact on global business from the outbreak of this virus is undeniable, stock markets have tumbled, supply chains are interrupted, organizations are closing offices and have imposed travel bans.  Everyone is attempting to navigate through these volatile days and weeks, making the best decisions they can based on the information available. 

As the article published in the Harvard Business Review on 27th February aptly confirms “…we will only have a complete picture in retrospect.”

However, there are important questions that surely must be posed:

  1. Should the coronavirus outbreak be having the level of impact that it currently has? As Russ Banham points out in his illuminating piece on Chief Executive “No articles are written about the impact of the flu on global supply chains, even after a particularly nasty seasonal outbreak.”
  2. What should we be doing now?
  3. What actual impact should it have? In other words, is the reaction proportionate and are we collecting lessons learned today so responses to inevitable future crises are not so panicked.  

Of these, the second question is the most urgent and the one that we collectively have control over.  IACCM is focused on supporting you to address this question, empowering you in your daily decision-making and response to this crisis.

IACCM leading the way

Our mission is to support our members to drive quality and integrity in their trading relationships and never has there been a more relevant time for us all.  Listed below are a series of initiatives that we have been undertaking and continue to undertake on your behalf to support you at this time.

  • Supply Ecosystems Research

The risks involved in single source supply, reliance of supply from one jurisdiction or even one region are long understood. In a world that is increasingly driven by an ESG agenda, there is added urgency to tackle lack of visibility through our supply ecosystems.  IACCM’s Thought Leadership Webinar on Supply Ecosystems will be providing results of a major piece of research that we have been conducting over the last four months on this very topic.  Given the current crisis, this research should help support any case you are making to implement changes internally.

  • IACCM Coronavirus Research Study Webinar

Following on from the spot survey conducted last week on the impact of coronavirus, we will be sharing the results with our membership in a special webinar on Friday.  Please register here: https://www.iaccm.com/events/register/?id=3655.

Interestingly while a majority of respondents say that right now there is currently limited impact on supplier performance and onward performance to customers, some 40% have said that there is already moderate or even severe impact.  In terms of actions being taken or discussed, many organizations are considering bringing activities back in-house, increasing near-shoring or domestic supply and reducing exposure in low cost or emerging markets. 

  • Force Majeure On-Demand Resources

IACCM offers all its members a regularly updated on-demand curated resource library on CCM to support you as you are getting your job done.  We appreciate that discussions around “force majeure” and related issues have been circling around the office and with third parties.  Check out these IACCM Resources to provide you some insight on how to handle these inevitable issues going forward.  The library includes an interesting article on how these issues were considered during the ebola crisis, which could be a helpful guide.  Remember to continually check in with our resource library to search out further articles and research on the subject as the global impact from the coronavirus continues to develop. 

  • Coronavirus Virtual Roundtables

Through our research, IACCM has real and up to the minute data on how trading relationships might change.  We will be conducting a series of Virtual Roundtables to provide the opportunity for our Members to come together in a virtual environment and, independent of the media-hype, discuss our findings and their response.  

For example:

  • Members are reviewing contract terms: which terms, in what way and with what impact?
  • Members are reviewing sources supply: with what intent and likely impact?
  • Members are receiving or implementing force majeure: what are the limits of that and what are the implications?
  • Members are considering how and where they work: what are the fundamental questions that need to be posed in this context?

As the only organization that brings together both buy and supply side, IACCM is uniquely positioned to facilitate these virtual discussions.  We will be inviting you to join us to acquire information that you can convey to management; discover current trends; discuss your thoughts and implications with peers.

Many quotes exist from great leaders and innovators about the difference between difficulty and opportunity.  Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”, and from Winston Churchill “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

IACCM’s Tim Cummins was predictably on-point and ahead of the curve in the latest in a series of Commitment Matters Blogs on this topic, in which he links the recent UK Appeal Court decision on Heathrow’s third runway with the outbreak of Covid-19, urging his readers to consider the bigger picture and importantly, the opportunity that these times afford us all to start thinking differently.  And so we must.

Our world is changing, and the coronavirus crisis is contributing to that change, causing us to reflect not only on how we should structure our businesses, but also on how we should conduct our lives. 

As if we needed evidence of the media’s ability to create needless panic and negativity, a poll conducted by 5W Public Relations found that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona “under any circumstances because of the coronavirus outbreak and another 14% wouldn’t order a Corona in public! 

As we constantly prepare for our future world, we must take the chance to understand how best to respond in the moment, and also learn from this global event, it’s not the first, and it won’t be the last.

Sally Guyer CEO of IACCM


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