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Silk vs. Steel: Rebuilding Supply Chains After COVID-19 (ATSC blog)

This content was published on the ATSC blog on May 25, 2020

The word ‘chain’ evokes images of metal links locked together, but this analogy has not been apt for a long time. Terms such as network, ecosystem, and web are far more appropriate. While it takes a pair of bolt cutters to get through a steel chain, a stiff breeze can destroy a spider web in an instant.

Supply chain managers are working on a continuum that extends from steel to spider web. On the one end is a set of nearly unbreakable links, and on the other is a silky thread. Steel is expensive and lacks agility, and while thread is able to flex, it can be destroyed in an instant. As we start to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting business restrictions, the challenge will be finding the sweet spot between silk and steel.

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