by Carl Feinberg, CEO, CRITICA PPE
If nothing else, the COVID-19 crisis has made us all realize the way we did business before is no longer a formula for success. In fact, it is no way for a nation, an economy, or business to survive, let alone prosper. But with crisis comes opportunity.
As John F. Kennedy once remarked: “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis’. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”
Any crisis forces us to make choices. And disruptive crises force us to make changes. This is especially true today. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life, from the personal to the professional.
The pandemic has had an enormous impact on how companies interact with their customers and changed how customers choose and purchase products and services. Most critically, the pandemic has changed how supply chains produce and deliver products.
COVID-19 has proven to be the great disruptive force of our age. According to surveys of business executives, these behavioral changes will persist. Most executives anticipate these changes will continue well into the future.
Recent research1 from McKinsey & Company indicates some 90% of business executives believe the COVID-19 crisis will fundamentally shift how they do business over the next five years. Yet, most executives do not feel their businesses are adequately equipped to deal with these changes.
First responders and front-line medical personnel were two segments of our society most immediately and severely impacted. Hundreds of millions of Personal Protection Equipment [PPE] supplies were critically needed, but the global supply chain failed, often disastrously. Shortages of essential supplies became the norm, putting the health and wellbeing of both responders and patients at risk.
This impending calamity went unnoticed and ignored for years. Outsourcing, offshoring, and globe-spanning supply lines set the stage for our current PPE supply crisis. And studies show these shortages will not go away anytime soon. More than eight months since the advent of the crisis, the security, quality and availability of critical PPE supplies remain at risk.
But the impact of the pandemic has gone well beyond simply a global health care crisis. It has become the great disruptor of our age, to the extent the effects have rippled through our entire system of sourcing, manufacturing and shipping of essential PPE supplies. As is the case with most disruptive events, opportunities open to those businesses that can promptly recognize and seize them.