The coronavirus has tossed supply chains around the world into chaos.
Forty-four percent of companies "right now do not have a plan for this," Eric Wilson, director of thought leadership at the Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning, said in an online town hall on Thursday (a town hall that filled quickly and nearly crashed the conference calling system because of demand). In addition, nearly 75% of U.S. firms are reporting disruption and supply chain shocks, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
This doesn't mean all is lost when it comes to planning. Transparency and data can help companies withstand turmoil caused by the coronavirus.
'There's no way to forecast this'
Peter Bolstorff, executive vice president of the Association for Supply Chain Management, told Supply Chain Dive that the focus should be on planning, not forecasting, because "there's no way to forecast this," he said.
That's, in part, because of consumer behavior, i.e. stockpiling toilet paper or buying bottled water when there has been no proven threat to supply. "The idea that you should go out and you should buy 10 times what you normally buy — the consumer is their own worst enemy right now for the supply chain," he said.