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Impact of Covid-19 on the supply chain: the case of personal protective equipment

Greta Righetti

Impact of Covid-19 on the supply chain: the case of personal protective equipment.

Rel. Anna Corinna Cagliano. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Gestionale (Engineering And Management), 2021

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The International Monetary Fund in 2019 predicted a moderate global growth of 3.4 percent for the year 2020. But then, for the third time in three decades, a zoonotic coronavirus has crossed species to infect human population; this virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in persons that went to a seafood or wet market (Perlman, 2020). Due to fear and uncertainty, global stock markets erased about US$6 trillion in wealth in one week from 24th to 26th of February. As in the events of 2007 and 2008 the initial perception was that Covid-19 would be localized, in this case to China only. It later spread across the world along with the movement of people (Ozili & Arun, 2020), and everyone understood how interconnected the globe is through the movement of goods and people. Due to the sudden rise in the number of cases and the droplets mode of transmission of the coronavirus, a sudden rise in the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices (MD) to protect the population and the health professionals was observed, leading to a significant shortage of these key goods from the early days of the outbreak (Shrivastava & Prateek Saurabh, 2020). The global supply chain of the PPE/MD shows its weaknesses in the moment of highest need. The thesis aim is firstly to qualitatively analyze the supply chain of personal protectives equipment / medical devices in order to understand the global supply chain to which they are part, the criticalities that arose during the coronavirus in 2020 and that led to shortages of these key goods in many countries. A quantitative analysis is then undertaken through a questionnaire, aimed at Italian, American and Chinese professionals in the PPE / MD sector. The intention of the questionnaire is to understand how daily operations have changed for the responding companies relatively to a period corresponding to the first pandemic wave in Italy, as of March-May 2020, in order to realize how characteristics of the business such as variation in material flows, lead times, relationships with suppliers, production and stock methods and many others have influenced on shortages and bottlenecks in the supply chain. The questionnaire was sent to importers, exporters, distributors and manufacturers of personal protectives equipment, with the aim of having as an understanding as complete as possible of the operational difficulties that each of these professionals has encountered due to coronavirus pandemic. A quantitative study regarding the PPE/MD supply chain has not yet been dealt with in the literature, and specially Italy is lacking in scientific articles relating to the reasons behind the shortages that the country suffered at the outbreak of the epidemiological emergency. Without understanding the specificities of the upstream supply chain problem, precautions cannot be taken so that the downstream problems do not occur, in the event of another unforeseen health emergency.

Relators: Anna Corinna Cagliano
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 121
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Gestionale (Engineering And Management)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-31 - MANAGEMENT ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/18435
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