Prof. Erik Hofmann: Corona crisis – Switzerland’s supply chain management on trial (Part I & II)

Prof. Erik Hofmann, University of St.Gallen, analyses the impact of COVID-19 on procurement and logistics in Switzerland in a two-part series published by the University of St.Gallen on the Special Topic Coronavirus.

Corona crisis: Switzerland’s supply chain management on trial

Part I on the current consequences for supply chains

First published on 2 April 2020

“Supply chains are currently under permanent stress worldwide – Switzerland not excluded. Like never before in times of peace, they are currently having to prove what they are capable of achieving. And – the positive aspect – supply chain managers and their operation units are providing evidence of their adaptability in an impressive manner at present; in spite of all the adversities of the crisis, procurement and logistics are proving to be a crucial factor for Europe’s economic system, particularly in foodstuffs, pharmaceutical and medical technology. In these sectors, transport and storage services are indefatigably in international operation although activities can only be kept up with increasing lack of speed and difficulty. In other industries, such as the automotive, machine- and plant-building or high tech industries, dramatic interruptions of the supply chains are on the increase. […]”

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Part II on the long-term effects and new trends

First published on 6 April 2020

“At present, all efforts are geared to keeping the global supply chain in operation, also in view of the foodstuffs, health and pharmaceutical industries’ dependence on products from outside Europe. One possible negative consequence of the crisis could be a setback with regard to environmental initiatives for the supply chain, for the sole reason that currently, the focus is exclusively on corporate recovery. […]”

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Prof. Erik Hofmann

Erik Hofmann is the Director of the Institute of Supply Chain Management at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland. His primary research interest are innovations in purchasing, supply chain finance and industry 4.0

Dr. Hofmann’s research is published in, e.g. Journal of Business Logistics, International Journal of Production Economics or International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

He is author of several awarded books like “Performance Measurement and Incentive Systems in Purchasing” or “Financing the End-to-End Supply Chain”.

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