Covid-19 Effect on Supply Chain Power

Submission window opens: 10 October 2021

Overview of special issue

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for supply chains globally. Multiple national lockdowns continue to slow or even temporarily stop the flow of raw materials and finished goods, disrupting manufacturing as a result. However, the pandemic has not necessarily created any new challenges for supply chains. In some areas, it brought to light previously unseen vulnerabilities, and, of course, many organizations have suffered staff shortages and losses due to COVID-19. But, overall, it has accelerated and magnified problems that already existed in the supply chain. Supply and logistics sectors were hit particularly hard because companies reported that the pandemic disrupted their workforce. While many employees were asked to work from home, others, especially in factory settings, had to adapt to new requirements for physical spacing, contact tracing and more personal protective equipment. Companies are investing overwhelmingly in technology to reduce employee exposure to COVID-19 in more labor-intensive industries. These are just a few examples of changes affecting supply chains across various sectors. For these reasons, investigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain power is essential to see the problems experienced by the firms. In this way, the improvement strategies can be defined more effectively.

Supply chain management can be defined as an indispensable system for businesses to respond to changing market conditions and to meet the demands and expectations of customers. It is aimed to simultaneously reduce supply and operation cost or to control these costs. The supply chain must balance the actual demand and customer expectations with the production processes. In order to achieve this balance, the supply chain must be subject to continuous development and improvement. The stagnant nature of the supply chain structure is an indication that it is not functioning properly. The coronavirus era is the biggest economic shock since the 2nd World War and this shock affects the supply chain management strategies and the power of supply chains. The pandemic has forced companies to retrain their employees on supply chain management strategies that had to change and on COVID-19 symptoms and prevention. It has also brought with it the necessity for companies to invest in supply chain technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. Additionally, firms faced increasing absenteeism and they had to devise succession plans for key executive positions. They restricted non-essential travel and encouraged flexible working arrangements. All these measures were taken to maintain the strength of the supply chain. Therefore, it is important to investigate the impact of COVID on supply chain strength.

The articles included in this special issue will look at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain power and will be looked at from different perspectives, focusing on different methods and approaches. Important implications will be drawn on how firms should manage their supply chains in the face of unexpected epidemics or another extraordinary situations. We aim to make a contribution to the research about the decision variables and data they should use while modelling in such cases.

Indicative list of anticipated themes

The COVID-19 impact on supply chain power can be investigated with the methods given below:

  • Computational intelligence
  • Fuzzy Logic approaches
  • Heuristic optimization
  • Bayesian approaches
  • Cybernetic models
  • Kaos theory
  • Artificial Neural Network
  • Learning algorithms
  • Different types of Multi-criteria Decision Making Methods (Especially Stochastic and Fuzzy ones)

Submission information

Submission window opens: 10 October 2021

Submission window closes: 30 January 2022

All submissions must be made through ScholarOne.

For more information, please see the author guidelines.