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Supply chains and COVID-19: impacts, countermeasures and post-COVID-19 era

Atif Saleem Butt (Department of Management, School of Business, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 14 September 2021



This paper explores the steps/countermeasures taken by firms to address supply chain disruptions in the wake of COVID-19.


This study employs a case study methodology and employs 46 semi-structured interviews with senior managers of the three buying firms, four distribution centres and four supplying firms based in four countries (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China and India).


Results reveal that manufacturers are refining production schedules to meet the production challenges. Distributors are working with secondary suppliers to meet the inventory shortage. Finally, supplying firms are evaluating the impact of demand, focusing on short-term demand-supply strategy, preparing for channel shifts, opening up additional channels of communication with key customers, understanding immediate customer’s demand and priorities and finally becoming more agile.

Research limitations/implications

There are some limitations to this study. First, the results of this study cannot be generalized to a wider population. Second, this study explores the interpretations of senior managers based in four Asian countries only.

Practical implications

Supply chain firms can use these findings to understand how COVID-19 is affecting firms. Firms can also use the suggestions provided in this study to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and make the best out of this pandemic.


This study contributes to the supply chain disruption literature by exploring the robust countermeasure taken by supply chain firms amid COVID-19 outbreak. In particular, it explores such countermeasures from the perspective of three different entities (buyer, supplier and distributor) based in four different countries in the South Asian region.



Butt, A.S. (2021), "Supply chains and COVID-19: impacts, countermeasures and post-COVID-19 era", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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