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AI technologies and their impact on supply chain resilience during COVID-19

Sachin Modgil (Department of Operations Management, International Management Institute, Kolkata, India)
Shivam Gupta (Department of Information Systems, Supply Chain and Decision Making, NEOMA Business School, Reims, France)
Rébecca Stekelorum (Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, ICN Business School, CEREFIGE, Nancy, France)
Issam Laguir (Montpellier Business School, Montpellier Research in Management, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 18 June 2021

Issue publication date: 2 March 2022




COVID-19 has pushed many supply chains to re-think and strengthen their resilience and how it can help organisations survive in difficult times. Considering the availability of data and the huge number of supply chains that had their weak links exposed during COVID-19, the objective of the study is to employ artificial intelligence to develop supply chain resilience to withstand extreme disruptions such as COVID-19.


We adopted a qualitative approach for interviewing respondents using a semi-structured interview schedule through the lens of organisational information processing theory. A total of 31 respondents from the supply chain and information systems field shared their views on employing artificial intelligence (AI) for supply chain resilience during COVID-19. We used a process of open, axial and selective coding to extract interrelated themes and proposals that resulted in the establishment of our framework.


An AI-facilitated supply chain helps systematically develop resilience in its structure and network. Resilient supply chains in dynamic settings and during extreme disruption scenarios are capable of recognising (sensing risks, degree of localisation, failure modes and data trends), analysing (what-if scenarios, realistic customer demand, stress test simulation and constraints), reconfiguring (automation, re-alignment of a network, tracking effort, physical security threats and control) and activating (establishing operating rules, contingency management, managing demand volatility and mitigating supply chain shock) operations quickly.

Research limitations/implications

As the present research was conducted through semi-structured qualitative interviews to understand the role of AI in supply chain resilience during COVID-19, the respondents may have an inclination towards a specific role of AI due to their limited exposure.

Practical implications

Supply chain managers can utilise data to embed the required degree of resilience in their supply chains by considering the proposed framework elements and phases.


The present research contributes a framework that presents a four-phased, structured and systematic platform considering the required information processing capabilities to recognise, analyse, reconfigure and activate phases to ensure supply chain resilience.



The authors would like to thank anonymous reviewer(s) for their time and offering valuable suggestions to strengthen the manuscript.Funding: The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work.Declaration of Conflicting Interest: The author(s) declare that there is no conflict of interest.

This paper forms part of a special section “Supply Chain and Technology Innovation during COVID-19 Outbreak”, guest edited by Syed Abdul Rehman Khan, Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour, Abbas Mardani and Chee Yew Wong.


Modgil, S., Gupta, S., Stekelorum, R. and Laguir, I. (2022), "AI technologies and their impact on supply chain resilience during COVID-19", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 52 No. 2, pp. 130-149.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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