5 data-driven solutions to the global disruption of supply chains

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Supply chains were already tested by the trade wars, and the pandemic made things that much worse. It’s time for companies to get smart—and a better data strategy is the key. The pandemic is testing supply chains in a manner few have seen in our lifetimes, with businesses struggling to predict demand and keep factory lines moving. The weaknesses exposed by this crisis are not brand new, but they should be a wake-up call that current strategies are not sustainable. Read Full Story

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Starbucks, PepsiCo, and BMW partner to fix a global problem worth trillions

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COVID-19 made it clear: The supply chain desperately needs an upgrade. To understand the vulnerabilities of the global movement of goods, think about toilet paper and face masks. During the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic when both items were in extreme demand, the systems in place to move them from manufacturers to consumers were unable to keep pace. The global supply chain—an intricate network of manufacturers, warehouses, and shipping and delivery companies spread around the world—was not broken, exactly, but it also wasn’t nimble enough to work the way the world needed. Read Full Story

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The solution to our COVID-19 testing dilemma: Lots of different kinds of rapid tests

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We need COVID-19 testing that returns results within minutes, and we need a lot of them. The best path is developing many different tests that use different materials so we don’t strain supply chains. For the U.S. to climb its way out of the coronavirus crisis, experts have said we need a rapid, cheap, and effective COVID-19 test. Currently, our existing testing either takes too long to deliver results, is too expensive to be done frequently, or is too painful, which deters people from going. Many options are some combination of all three. But the key to safely returning to the office or sending our kids to school, especially as we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, doesn’t lie in just one “perfect” COVID-19 test: We need multiple rapid and affordable tests, from a variety of supply chains. Read Full Story

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This ultra-fast, low-cost COVID test could give accurate results in fewer than five minutes

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The new rapid test from Oxford University could be rolled out by mid-2021. The results for some COVID-19 tests can take days or even weeks to get back to patients because of delays in the system, rendering the tests nearly useless: If someone doesn’t know they have the virus right away, they’re less likely to quarantine themselves and it becomes difficult or impossible for contact tracers to find other infected patients in time to stop the spread of the disease. Rapid tests exist, but aren’t always accurate, and still suffer from supply-chain issues for the materials used to make them. But a new low-cost test in development at Oxford University that can share results in minutes may have solved those problems. Read Full Story

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