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April 2020 Logistics Managers' Index Suggests Black Friday in July »

Saunders professor, Dr. Steven Carnovale, offers insights on the impact of COVID-19 on Supply Chain.

Assistant Professor Dr. Steven Carnovale is bringing expert insights to the effects of COVID-19 on the management of supply chains. Recently appearing in various news outlets, including ABC-13WHAM and CBS-WROC, Dr. Carnovale shared how consumer purchasing behavior drives supply chain planning and product availability. He calls this “the bullwhip effect” sharing that when a bullwhip is cracked, there are small ripples that will grow in size the closer it gets to the end. This ripple effect occurs when consumer purchasing behavior dramatically changes from the norm, and panic buying occurs. For example, when consumers go to retail stores and purchase items in extreme quantities, like toilet paper for instance, it multiplies the effect as it goes upstream in the supply chain as manufacturers have to compensate for the increased demand, leading to erratic production and product availability. Dr. Carnovale advised consumers to be calm and not to panic.

Dr. Carnovale, a member of the nationally-recognized Logistics Managers’ Index (LMI) research team, is "identifying trends and developments in the logistics industry over time,” according to the LMI website. The index has shown growth for 43 consecutive months, despite recording the lowest reading in its history. The index cites strength in the warehousing sector, due to inventory buildups that could lead to a “Black Friday in July” selloff for clothing retailers. With an abundance of inventory and low demand, businesses will have to do something to decrease their storage footprint. If companies can sell their products while keeping transportation slow, this will be the first time the index shows a reduction in these industries. The LMI team is comprised of experts from Arizona State University, Colorado State, RIT, Rutgers University and the University of Nevada, Reno along with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

Dr. Carnovale, a supply chain management (SCM) professor at RIT’s Saunders College of Business, is looking at the global pandemic as a real-world learning opportunity that can help prepare students for careers in the field. He has integrated the research found within the LMI to inform students in the classroom. Topics include balancing the flow of inbound and outbound materials, having manufacturers move facility operations to the U.S. and having companies take a second look at sourcing decisions. 

Saunders College SCM undergraduate and graduate curricula at RIT, supported by leading faculty expertise and technology resources, teaches students how to handle the unexpected and is continuously adapting to industry needs. The newly-revised Master of Science (MS) in Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) program, with significant input from industry professionals, prepares students to face the new, and highly-dynamic, challenges associated with the global supply chain.

LMI April Report Dr. Steven Carnovale Profile

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