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Purchasing challenges in times of COVID-19: resilience practices to mitigate disruptions in the health-care supply chain

Renato Araujo (Department of Production Engineering, Federal University of Ouro Preto, João Monlevade, Brazil)
June Marques Fernandes (Department of Production Engineering, Federal University of Ouro Preto, João Monlevade, Brazil)
Luciana Paula Reis (Department of Production Engineering, Federal University of Ouro Preto, João Monlevade, Brazil)
Martin Beaulieu (Department of Logistics and Operations Management, HEC Montréal, Montréal, Canada)

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing

ISSN: 2398-5364

Article publication date: 20 December 2022

48

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify supply chain (SC) management practices applied to purchasing capable of improving the resilience of the health-care SC and mitigating the effects of material and service disruption during pandemics.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach adopted is qualitative and is based on a systematic literature review from the ScienceDirect, Emerald, Wiley and Web of Science databases. After selecting 705 documents, filters are applied, and 52 articles present problems faced by purchasing the health-care SC during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Findings

This article suggests five propositions of resilient practices that can increase purchasing resilience in the face of pandemics such as COVID-19. The proposed practices are collaboration, flexibility, visibility, agility and information sharing, which suggest a sequence for the adoption of management practices based on the number of occurrences and importance found in the analysed studies.

Research limitations/implications

This study does not find robust empirical evidence that could categorically state that the results can be replicated in organisations in general. Thus, as a continuation of research, more studies should use an empirical methodology and case analysis to organise different branches. As the human factor was decisive for the results observed in the literature, future research should dedicate part of the studies to the psychological area of professionals. Actions to combat the pandemic were implemented, impacting positively and negatively on the results obtained. Future research on combat actions could indicate which ones should be avoided.

Practical implications

As a result, disruptions are expected to be reduced, and consequently, the resilience of the SC will increase. Accordingly, purchasing processes and procedures can be redefined to positively influence the resilience of the health-care SC. Resilience is related to maintaining the flow of supply, as well as systems and actions aimed at mitigating the effects of disruptions in the hospital’s core business.

Social implications

Health systems need to respond to society’s needs even in the face of global crises, such as the one faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The overload in hospitals and the exponential demand for specific medicines and services in the fight against the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic require enormous coordination in procurement by the purchasing sector. This planning aims to ensure that the care provided by health services maintains the flow of value that serves hospitalised patients.

Originality/value

This study introduces a new approach to the recurrent problem of disruption of the health-care SC during a pandemic using a combination of five important management practices. This proves useful for mitigating disruptions and their effects on the health-care SC.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP/Brazil) (www.ufop.br), Foundation for Research Support of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG, Grant Number APQ-00951–22), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), for their support and funding during the development of the research. The authors would like to thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing. The authors also would like to thank the editors of the journal and their reviewers, who contributed to the improvement of this article.

Citation

Araujo, R., Fernandes, J.M., Reis, L.P. and Beaulieu, M. (2022), "Purchasing challenges in times of COVID-19: resilience practices to mitigate disruptions in the health-care supply chain", Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGOSS-04-2022-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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