Expert Pitch
Virginia Tech

Coronavirus disrupts global supply chain and production of U.S. consumer goods, says expert

26-Feb-2020 2:30 PM EST, by Virginia Tech

Newswise — The spread of the coronavirus has been a wake-up call for many companies worldwide and a test for supply chain resilience, says Virginia Tech expert Barbara Hoopes.

“The more widespread the viral impact, the more uncertainty there will continue to be for multinational companies. Companies that rely on a narrow geographical area for production of goods are understandably considering strategic changes such as alternate sources of supply and building up higher inventory levels to guard against future stock-outs,” says Hoopes.

Hoopes predicts the tech sector will be the first to be affected. “The cancellation of commercial flights will impact smaller, higher-margin goods such as electronics as these types of products are commonly flown as cargo on passenger flights.”

“Smart watches, phones, video game consoles, computers, and embedded electronic components in larger goods may see the earliest impact. These physically smaller, but higher-value goods are often handled on a just-in-time inventory basis due to shorter transit times. These are the components that will likely be missed first in both retail and production assembly operations in the U.S.” 

“Due to the geographic distance from the epicenter of this crisis, consumers should expect that noticeable disruptions to the supply chain will hit the U.S. later than breaking news might indicate. For example, tangible delays and disruptions may affect shipments of Halloween or Christmas merchandise,” says Hoopes.

Hoopes emphasizes that impacts won’t be limited to manufacturing-based businesses.

“Hospitality and service businesses such as hotels and restaurants are not likely to make up sales like manufacturers as the economy rights itself.  Goods-based companies can use inventory to absorb the impact of the disruption, and most consumer products will likely bounce back by adjustments made in production levels as the year progresses, but services are perishable – lost seats on flights, restaurant meals, and hotel stays will likely just stay lost.”

Hoopes says the slowdown will undoubtedly have secondary effects. “When people and goods don’t move, the demand for fuel is clearly impacted by cancelled flights, quarantined population centers, and maritime shipping delays. This reduced demand can clearly affect commodities markets and prices.”

About Hoopes

Barbara Hoopes is the academic director of Virginia Tech MBA Programs and associate professor of Business Information Technology. She teaches for the Virginia Tech MBA programs in the greater Washington, D.C., metro region in the areas of operations management, global supply chain management, and business analytics. She has led supply-chain-focused study abroad trips with groups of MBA students since 2003.


To secure an interview with Hoopes, contact Shannon Andrea in the media relations office at [email protected] or 703-399-9494.


Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5639
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 14-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Access to overdose-reversing drugs declined during pandemic, researchers find
Beth Israel Lahey Health

In a new study, clinician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) analyzed naloxone prescription trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and compared them to trends in opioid prescriptions and to overall prescriptions.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
No Excuses: Stop Procrastinating on These Key Health Checks
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A quick guide to the most-valuable preventive care that adults need to get scheduled, to catch up on what they may have missed during the height of the pandemic, and to address issues that the pandemic might have worsened.

Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:15 AM EDT
28 Community Programs Receive Grants Through Penn Medicine CAREs Program
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine CAREs awarded grants to 28 projects, many of which aim to fill vast needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others seek to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Showing results

110 of 5639