Dr. King Mukherjee, founder of Global Impex USA, led an afternoon session on supply chain management and global sourcing during IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. The session explored how the international business supply chain has changed in the past few years, how the domestic and international market will change in the future, and how the current pandemic has changed and impacted the economy.
A supply chain is defined as being a global network of organizations and all of the activities involved in delivering a finished product or service to a customer. Supply chain management is the design and execution of relationships and flows that connect the parties and process across the supply chain.
According to Mukherjee, for textiles and the personal protective equipment (PPE) industry in the U.S., the era of outsourcing is over, the era of insourcing has begun, and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the acceleration of the entire process.
Before COVID-19 struck, domestic production for textiles and the PPE industry in the U.S. was moderate, there was an emphasis on strong and reliant relationships, and 20% of the country’s PPE supply was imported. Since COVID-19, PPE production in China has decreased to nearly half its volume in February, there has been a major increase in domestic PPE production in the U.S., and, due to an increase in demand, there have been major shortages and extended wait times for PPE.
Looking ahead to the future, the PPE market in the U.S. is expected to grow between now and 2024. Mukherjee notes that there is a tremendous amount of opportunity available for the industry. To capitalize on the opportunities, Mukherjee recommends that the U.S. should increase its transparency to help identify problems in the PPE supply chain, improve and maintain customer relations, invest in maintaining a domestic supply chain, and focus on sustainability.