Why Restarting the Global Economy Won't be Easy
As the world contemplates ending a massive lockdown implemented in response to COVID-19, Vinod Singhal is considering what will happen when we hit the play button and the engines that drive industry and trade squeal back to life again.
Singhal, who studies operations strategy and supply chain management at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has a few ideas on how to ease the transition to the new reality. But this pandemic makes it hard to predict what that reality will be.
“We know pandemics can disrupt supply chains, because we’ve had the SARS experience, but this is something very different,” said Singhal, the Charles W. Brady Chair Professor of Operations Management at the Scheller College of Business, recalling the SARS viral pandemic of 2002 to 2003. But that event did not have nearly the deadly, worldwide reach of COVID-19.
“There is really nothing to compare this pandemic to,” he said. “And predicting or estimating stock prices is simply impossible, unlike supply chain disruptions caused by a company’s own fault, or a natural disaster, like the earthquake in Japan.”
For more coverage of Georgia Tech’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, please visit our Responding to COVID-19 page.
The earthquake that shook northeastern Japan in March 2011 unleashed a devastating and deadly tsunami that caused a meltdown at a nuclear power plant, and also rocked the world economy. It was called the most significant disruption ever of global supply chains. Singhal co-authored a study on the aftereffects, “