Coronavirus: Manufacturers Rethink Global Supply Chain

Firstly, manufacturers have been impacted by the closure of so-called upstream suppliers that had to shut because of social-distancing protocols or to protect their workforces.

Secondly, some product makers face a lack of raw materials, which are being diverted to make critical medical products, such as face masks.

Lastly, companies are holding back on production because they are uncertain about future demand. This has impacted manufacturers further down the supply chain that are unable to procure materials for their own production.


Vanier says the impact of the pandemic on manufacturers runs the gamut, from businesses that have seen no impact to those that have experienced severe curtailment in their operations to companies that have had to ramp up production because of increased demand.

Food processors and metal manufacturers, in particular, show a broad range of impacts. “There are ones that are booming and there are ones that shut down because of workforce concerns and supply-chain issues,” says Vanier.

Valerie Ells, chief financial officer of Laird Superfood in Sisters, which makes shelf-stable health foods, says the company has seen increased demand for its products online and in grocery stores. It sources some ingredients, such as coconut, from abroad, and there are delays in shipping those products, though they are still arriving at its factory.