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Modelling ripple effect propagation and global supply chain workforce productivity impacts in pandemic disruptions
2023, International Journal of Production Research, 61(8), pp.2493-2512
Spatial dynamics
ripple effect
global supply chain
An increasing number of disruptions in ports, plants and warehouses have generated ripple effects over supply networks impacting economic activity. We demonstrate how the spread of the pandemic geographically expands the ripple effect by reducing the workers’ participation in production, so undermining the ability of firms and, as a result, the entire cross-border sup- ply chain network to satisfy customers’ demands. Our model of the spatio-temporal dynamics of the propagation of Covid-19 infection for supply networks contributes toward ripple effect visualisation and quantification by combining the flow of goods and materials through a typical global supply chain with an epidemiological model. The model enables prospective analyses to be performed in what-if scenarios to simulate the impact on the workforce in each node. The outcome should be helpful tools for managers and scholars. Results from this research will help mitigate the impact and spread of a pandemic in a particular region and the ability of a supply network to overcome the ripple effect. A stylised case study of a cross-border supply chain illustrates the ripple effect by showing how waves with crests at varying dates impact the ability to serve demand showing how a supply chain manager can obtain a forward-looking picture.

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