Managing the Delta Effects

Fear can paralyze; risk can be managed. The Delta variant of Covid-19 is spreading primarily among the unvaccinated. We are currently facing supply and demand uncertainties that have crippled many manufacturers, but it’s time to turn our eyes to managing specific risks.

You know how to deal with many of the uncertainties — like how to produce safely in your facilities and how to schedule workers as schools change schedules. In most cases we know what we don’t know, which should remove fear and enable risk management to take over.

In the USA Covid-19 is increasing in unvaccinated areas, which are easily identified. If your supply or demand emanates from one of those areas, you face more risk than if they were not. Working to mitigate those risks now is a priority.

Most first world countries, other than Australia, are vaccinated. That’s not the case for second and third world countries, although progress is being made. Again, information on vaccination rates is available and can help you foresee additional challenges.

The chip industry is facing structural challenges; those shortages will likely still be with us through the end of 2022. Many other material shortages can be significantly reduced by logistical adjustments that are underway. I anticipate most to be resolved by early 2022.

You may have other projections that drive your risk management. The key is that you not be overwhelmed by today’s expediting needs and keep your eyes on the future. Knowing what you don’t know is a significant advantage over what you faced in 2020.

BUT, the newest variant — Lambda — is already in over 20 countries, with one case identified in the US. Sadly, it does not appear to respond to current vaccines. But at least we know that, and you can prepare better this time around.

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