Strategies to Manage the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Supply Chain: Implications for Improving Economic and Social Sustainability

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sustainability, 2020, 12, (22), pp. 9483-9483
Issue Date:
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This paper aims to identify the negative impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on supply chains and propose strategies to deal with the impacts in the context of the readymade garment (RMG) industry supply chain of an emerging economy: Bangladesh. To achieve the aims, a methodological framework is proposed through a literature review, expert inputs, and a decision-aid tool, namely the grey-based digraph-matrix method. A total of 10 types of negative impacts and 22 strategic measures to tackle the impacts were identified based on the literature review and expert inputs. Then, the grey-based digraph-matrix was applied for modeling the strategic measures based on their influence to deal with the impacts. Findings reveal that the strategies “manufacturing flexibility”, “diversify the source of supply”, and “develop backup suppliers” have significant positive consequences for managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the RMG supply chain. The findings help industrial managers recover from supply chain disruptions by identifying and classifying the impacts and strategies required to manage the major supply chain disturbances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a theoretical contribution, this study is one of few initial attempts to evaluate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and the strategies to deal with the impacts in the supply chain context.
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