by Carl Feinberg, CEO, CRITICA PPE | 2021
If nothing else, the COVID-19 crisis has made us all realize the way we did business before the pandemic is no longer a formula for success. In fact, it is no way for any nation, economy, or business to survive, let alone prosper. But with crisis comes opportunity.
Over the past few decades, the US economy has become increasingly dependent upon foreign manufacturing capabilities and supply chains. When a disruptive event, natural disaster. or emergency strikes, we discover our reliance on foreign PPE puts public health and national security at risk.
As noted in our previous article, the U.S. economy had become deeply intertwined and dependent upon global value chains. And when the pandemic ruptured those chains, it brought our nation and economy to a screeching halt and gravely jeopardized everyone’s health and wellbeing.
A crisis as disruptive as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates our supply chain vulnerabilities. However, it also reveals some interesting opportunities. But seeing the opportunities a crisis like this presents is not the same as seizing them. That requires vision and most of all, it demands innovation.
Seeing the opportunities crisis presents and seizing them are two different things
The pandemic has prompted a fundamental rethink of the merits of globalization, given our vulnerability to supply interruptions. The pandemic is driving repatriation of manufacturing and the sourcing of inputs as we recognize the value of self-sufficiency — with PPE among the most prominent examples.
It is clear we need to shift from globalization’s singular focus on efficiency and cost minimization. The good news is these changes represent tremendous opportunities we can seize upon. Secure domestic supply chains are no longer a matter of national pride or nationalist sentiment. There are lives at stake.
There are lessons to be learned from this crisis. And there are challenges we face now and into the foreseeable future. But what is apparent is that we must strive towards greater self-sufficiency and autonomy in our critical supply chains while creating domestic manufacturing jobs.