Researchers Use Tweets to Analyze Supply Chain Issues was prepared for AFFLINK
“The global supply chain has been significantly impacted by COVID-19,” according to Michael Wilson, vice president of marketing and packaging at AFFLINK, a leading sales and marketing organization for distributors in the U.S.
“This applies to just about everything we purchase, from grocery items to paper products and cleaning supplies.”
For insight into what is happening, three assistant professors, one from Texas A&M University and the other two from leading business universities in India, studied tweets regarding supply chain issues.
Their goal was to identify the challenges organizations are experiencing, getting products from point “A” to point “B.”
Nearly 42,000 tweets from NASDAQ 100 firms, 35,000 tweets from individual twitter users, and 7,359 tweets from supply chain professionals were collected.
Analyzing the tweets, here are some of the insights the researchers uncovered:
Demand uncertainty. Since the pandemic arrived, there have been sudden spikes in demand for certain products and significant declines for others. “A sudden change in demand creates enormous challenges for [manufacturers and distributors],” wrote the researchers. “Many companies are forced to match demand-supply equations daily.”
Technology challenges. “Technology has emerged as an important factor that determines success or failure during COVID-19.” However, many supply chain firms are not “technology-ready” to handle the many issues they are now facing.
Resiliency. Finding ways to become more resilient is now viewed as crucial to business survival. Interestingly, many organizations are building resiliency by collaborating with competitors.
“We’re learning during the #COVID19 crisis [that] collaboration between… competitors allows everyone to provide their greatest value,” tweeted one supply chain professional.
Employee safety. Many people tweeted about health and safety issues. “My #1 priority is our employees and community’s safety and health,” is an example.
Environmental concerns. “Organizations have also started focusing on environmental sustainability across the supply chain.” Many have proposed ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We still are not fully aware of the long-term impact of COVID on distributors,” adds Wilson. “But we all know changes are evolving. Hopefully, they will help us become stronger and more resilient companies in the future.”
Source: “COVID-19’s impact on supply chain decisions: Strategic insights from NASDAQ 100 firms using Twitter data,” by Amalesh Sharma, published in the Journal of Business Research, September 2020.
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Connecting more than 200 manufacturers of Facility Maintenance, Packaging, Safety, Office and Industrial Supply solutions with over 350 independent distribution experts, AFFLINK is, just as its name suggests – that critical link offering clients innovative products, market expertise, and improved profitability, all of which is fueled by our leading-edge information technology. For more info, visit: http://www.afflink.com/
Michael Wilson, vice president of marketing and packaging
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Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
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