Coronavirus Calm: How Geospatial Modeling Can Delay Likely Disruptions

As our world continues to change daily due the coronavirus, the need for rapid change and adaptation has never been higher. Does your company have a plan to deal with service supply chain disruptions, travel bans, quarantines, and other potential problems? Do you even know where to start? If the answer is “no,” you’re not alone.

An Institute for Supply Management survey released March 11, 2020, found “nearly 75% of companies have experienced supply chain disruptions as a result of coronavirus,” and 80% of companies expect to be impacted by the outbreak. The 2003 SARS outbreak in Asia cost the world economy an estimated $40 billion, but world economies are much more interconnected now. Some companies have already adjusted revenue targets downward for the year.

If your company is struggling to adjust to uncertainty and disruptions within your service supply chain, geospatial modeling tools can help you react to this crisis and proactively plan your response to future disruptive events.

While Flash Global is well suited to keep spare parts moving during times of disruption, we’re not immune. We can’t control what closures local governments put in place. As a global team, we are staying abreast of news that may impact shipments and communicate with our customers daily — and even more frequently when needed. Part of those communications includes discussing solutions — if an FSL is forced to cease operations, we’re sourcing from alternate locations when possible.

Esri Technology: Transform Raw Data into Real Solutions

Many major media outlets are using an interactive map to show where COVID-19 is spreading in near real time. The map is driven by Esri technology, with data overlaid by researchers at Johns Hopkins. It’s the same trusted technology platform Flash uses as the backbone of our network modeling and geospatial mapping capabilities.

Geospatial mapping transforms numbers from a boring, seen-it-a-million-times spreadsheet into a dynamic interactive map where the information is easily understood. Its strength is its flexibility. Any relevant dataset can be mapped with geospatial analysis.

Want to see where all the COVID-19 cases are? They can be mapped. Need to see inventory levels of a certain spare part? Those can be mapped. How about normal traffic congestion? If you’ve got the data, it can be mapped.

Bring Some Calm into the Chaos

When everything seems to be spinning out of control, remember this quote from author and motivational speaker Clyde Lee Dennis:

“Remaining calm in the midst of chaos is a superpower.”

Still, it’s no wonder companies are spooked. Almost half of respondents in the ISM survey said they “don’t have a plan to address supply disruptions from China,” and more than half are having trouble communicating with Chinese suppliers. The rising infection totals in Europe and North America will further stress supply chains.

People panic in a crisis because they don’t know how to react and don’t understand their options. Geospatial modeling is an antidote to uncertainty because it puts you in the driver’s seat. The multiple simulations and models help you make informed business decisions. It may not be a superpower, but it’s close.

Take a Double Shot of Esri and Get to Work

If you’re unfamiliar with Esri or geospatial modeling, take a look at Johns Hopkins University’s map of the worldwide coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. It combines datasets from the WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and other sources into a single, interactive map.

Flash Global uses this same technology to map your company’s relevant datasets, including:

  • Forward stocking locations (FSL)
  • Repair centers
  • Customer locations
  • Transportation maps
  • Warehouse inventories

We can layer your company information over the outbreak map and instantly highlight at-risk facilities and weak links in your supply chain. This is calmplementary data pairing with software at its finest.

Right now, you need both an action plan and a risk management plan. Our geospatial modeling tools can help you answer business-critical questions such as:

  • Does the closest FSL to your install base have the inventory needed to support customers?
  • If not, where can you pull spare parts needed to support your SLAs?
  • What happens if that location closes or can’t re-stock? Where is the next nearest FSL?
  • What FSLs have optimal inventory levels?

Geospatial modeling and analysis help you react in a crisis and get ahead of potential threats. Create contingency plans before a labor strike hits a busy port, a fast-moving wildfire threatens an FSL, or seismic rumblings in an earthquake-prone region threaten transportation infrastructure. But remember: geospatial modeling isn’t just for disasters. It can help you determine the best locations for expansion or solve the everyday challenge of avoiding traffic congestion so your drivers meet on-time delivery targets.

A picture (or a geospatial map) really is worth a thousand words when you’re sorting through business-critical options and scenarios. There’s no need to panic. We understand the urgency of bringing calm into the chaos, especially now. Our team of experts has your back, so you can be calmfident that you can adjust at a moment’s notice. Request a callback today to start the conversation.


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