April 20, 2021
By John Bartrum, CEO of Brightstar Innovations Group, LLC, and Academy Fellow
On February 24, 2021, President Biden with a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders, announced an Executive Order (EO) “to address an issue of both concern to our economic security, as well as our national security: the resilience and reliability of our critical supply chains”[i].
The recent stress on the logistics system has been unprecedented. Since the start of the pandemic, the strain COVID-19 put on the medical supply chain from raw materials to finished product, and distribution was not similar to a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, or wild fire. Nor was it like several of these calamities all occurring at one time. Furthermore, the response effort is beyond even the scope of a dirty bomb or terrorist chemical attack in multiple US cities at the same time. The pandemic is a global war with each country racing to get the same logistics stocks, raw materials, and distribution channels all at the same time.
The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the first mass whole-of-nation mobilizations in modern memory for most Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic has handed us the chance to massively stress test our logistics systems in the heat of the fire, see how it responds and require us to make real time adjustments. If we seize on this opportunity, it will make both our logistics system more resilient, diverse, and secure for the U.S. and markets around the world.