After the volume of merchandise trade shrank by 3% year-on-year in the first quarter, estimates for the second quarter – when lockdown measures affected the largest share of the global population – show a drop of 18.5%. “These declines are historically large, but could have been much worse,” the WTO says on its website. The organization’s April forecast predicted trade could fall by 32% in a worst-case scenario. Even so, there are risks to the outlook, including a second wave of COVID‑19, weaker economic growth, and governments imposing trade restrictions.

SOURCE. World Economic Forum

Image credit: REUTERS

The ubiquitous face mask does more than protect against viral spread; it also changes the way we look at one another—and thus symbolizes the mystery of customer behavior in the pandemic. Several new McKinsey research efforts analyze the changes taking place in the homes of consumers, on their phones, and in stores. “Reimagining marketing in the next normal,” for example, documents six of the biggest shifts emerging from COVID-19. One of the most intriguing is the rising importance of neighborhoods: with travel largely shut down, marketers must figure out how to localize their outreach.

SOURCE: Mc Kinsey

Image credit: Not available

According to the food sector related to industry workers, they do not have the opportunity to work from home and are required to continue to work in their usual workplaces. Keeping all workers healthy and safe in the food manufacturing plant and supply chain is critical to surviving the current pervasive. Maintaining the transportation of food is an essential function to which all stakeholders along the food chain need to contribute. This is also required to maintain trust and consumer stratification in the safety and availability of food.

SOURCE: FNB News

Image credit: Not available

The pandemic has focused attention on how dependent we all are on what happens in other parts of the world for the products we use every day. As businesses look to reinvigorate their operations after the crisis, current innovations in sustainability certification can help build more resilient supply chains through a stronger focus on continuous improvement, transparency and shared responsibility. Here are three ways to do just that.

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

Image credit: Not available

Long queues outside essential services establishments, strained supply chains, rapidly shifting customer purchase patterns, wildly disconnected demand-supply requirements; these are just some of the visible impacts of the current COVID-19 situation in India. Disruptions to supply chains have been unprecedented in their scale and severity, and these are further amplified when the underlying supply chain is global in nature.

The current situation has truly brought to forefront the interconnectivity and interdependency that exists in every aspect of our lives, but nowhere else has this been more acutely felt than in the global supply chain. In this article, we highlight some of the expected changes and deliberate on impending issues in the supply chain industry in the ‘COVIDian’ era, from both customer and business perspectives.

SOURCE: Business Today

Image credit: Not available

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business environment for many organizations around the globe, and has highlighted the importance of being able to react, adapt and set up crisis management mechanisms in order to weather situations of uncertainty. As the acute restrictions and lockdowns created many urgent situations that required immediate attention in the early days of the pandemic, many companies have now begun to move to a “recovery mode” and have started planning for the longer term. As companies seek to strengthen operations and business resilience, the importance of supply chain resilience and risk management is more apparent than ever.

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

Image credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

COVID-19 is seen as the first crisis of the Anthropocene where economic activity has come in direct opposition to public health. When we are forced to think of new ways to make things work, it is likely that we will have new trends in the way we produce, distribute, purchase and consume things. Those trends, influenced by our new limitations, seem to favour a circular economy – the only economic philosophy that can sustainably cater to people’s needs in the long run.

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

Image credit: REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

The order to shut down operations or force employees to work from home has affected almost all sectors of the economy and increased the number of unemployed. The negative impact on national economies is devastating with almost all economies in the world likely to register steep decline inactivity. Covid-19 has become the new dreaded word, forcing many companies to change and adapt to survive or face the bleak choice of bankruptcy. One sector that is helping find solutions for businesses, both big and small, is fintech, offering relatively low-cost digital services in a number of ways.

SOURCE: Financial Mirror

Image credit: Not available

Many businesses in Africa have discovered new ways to bring goods and services to their clients during the COVID-19 lockdown. Both big and small entrepreneurs stand to benefit from online trade after the pandemic.

SOURCE: DW

Image credit: alliance/dpa/G.Jun

One of the most striking impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak is the harsh way it has exposed the weaknesses in supply chains for businesses around the world. Many were caught out amid panic buying of daily necessities, such as toilet paper, the unexpected demand surges for baking products and some food items, and most tragic of all, the scarcity of life-saving drugs, ventilators, masks and personal protective equipment. Despite decades spent fine-tuning supply chains, most companies found themselves struggling to fulfil their needs for raw materials or finished products.

SOURCE: The Straits Times

Image credit: .ST PHOTO: ZHANG XUAN