The coronavirus pandemic has created significant challenges for the manufacturing industry, disrupting manufacturing operations around the world. Organizations that help companies understand their supply chains are issuing guidance to help mitigate the impact.

Though many countries seem to be taking steps toward normal operations, the pandemic’s influence on our economy will linger for the foreseeable future. The race to a vaccine is ongoing. Companies are transitioning their operations to produce medical supplies. And supply chains will be at a higher risk of human and labor rights issues than normal for some time.

A responsible business approach should take the post-pandemic landscape into consideration. For example, there will be fewer opportunities to conduct onsite evaluations and inspections due to limited and restricted travel. Supply chain data technology can help companies keep the communication lines open with remote factory locations, mitigating risk during uncertain business conditions.

Protecting Advancements in Human Rights

The pandemic threatens industry efforts to follow the guidance laid out by organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to advance sustainable development values. Although there is never an appropriate time to abandon corporate responsibility, industries and regions with poor human rights records, such as mining, face increased risk when demand fluctuates.

Companies have a responsibility to ensure their operations continue to address corporate environmental, social and governance goals even in the midst of disruption events, but limited visibility into remote factory locations makes this a difficult and expensive task. Those that prioritize transparency in their supply chains through due diligence will be in a better position to grow sustainable revenue and thrive in the post-pandemic business landscape.

However, companies shouldn’t just rush out and purchase the first solution they encounter. Supply chain data management technology is difficult to implement smoothly, and workforces can be resistant to sweeping operational changes. A comprehensive service provider can help you overcome the barriers to digital transformation in your supply chain and ensure you’re getting value.

Technology & Supply Chain Transparency

Before the pandemic, supply chain data management was helping companies transition compliance and due diligence to data automation technology as a means of risk mitigation and cost efficiency. As the global response to the coronavirus continues, companies that have yet to do so should take this opportunity to modernize their operations, and build transparency into their supply chains.

If your company is already leveraging this type of technology, you may wish to ask your service provider what resources they have available to help clients navigate geographic pandemic data.

For more information about how Assent can help you mitigate supply chain disruption and any associated risk, contact us.

Jared Connors
Director, Sustainability

Jared is focused on helping companies achieve their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals through increased understanding and mitigation of risk. His 12 years of leadership in human rights, anti-bribery  Read More

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