The coronavirus outbreak is affecting supply chains across the globe, but technology could mitigate its impact on retail, according to CB Insights.
The report highlights that the SARs outbreak in 2003 had a comparable impact on worldwide industry, but since then China’s economy has grown to become the second largest in the world. CB Insights says that, as the ‘ground zero’ for the coronavirus, the country’s disruption in business and manufacturing operations is causing major problems elsewhere. For example, Apple, HP and Microsoft have all anticipated a hit to revenue.
However, the report highlights that there are solutions available to help retailers control their supply chains. According to CB Insights, shipment visibility is key to helping businesses effectively manage inventory during unexpected delays and automation can reduce disruption as manufacturing and production relies less on human labour.
Autonomous delivery is another concept that could not only reduce disruption, but also prevent the spread of the virus, says CB Insights, highlighting that retailer JD.com has been using autonomous vehicles and drones in China to distribute goods without human-to-human contact.
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