Opinion: the internet turbocharged global supply chains; now it’s making us local - Fractals of Change

The internet that flattened the globe is now helping us flatten the curve.

“We ignored the dangers of over-concentrated and complex supply chains. In a world where prices can be readily compared, the temptation to go for a momentary price advantage by concentrating supply overshadowed the fragility of single-sourcing and long supply chains. Then the virus hit the fan. We couldn’t even get enough masks to protect our hospital workers. They come from abroad and “abroad” needed its own production. Tried to make masks and found out we don’t make enough specialty paper or elastic domestically. Tried to make ventilators but all the parts come from somewhere else. South Korea went immediately to test and trace; we couldn’t because we didn’t have enough test kits or chemicals to use with them. South Korea is a lot closer to the beginnings of its supply chains than we are. Many of our supply chains run through South Korea. The Internet made it too easy for us to outsource too much to too far away; short-term thinking made us ignore the risk of no plan B. Better late than never, the Internet has also come to the rescue."


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