A Look At The ‘Supply Chain’ For Consumers And How Coronavirus Could Test It

A sign announces that hand sanitizer is sold out at a grocery store Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee. Sanitation items and other supplies have been in high demand since the coronavirus outbreak.

Mark Humphrey / Associated Press

National banks run stress tests to predict how they’ll perform in a financial catastrophe.

The “supply chain” has no such preliminary measurement. It takes a natural disaster or a pandemic to experience how strong the system is that gets consumers the things they consume.

COVID-19 could be just that stress test.

WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress spoke with Pinar Keskinocak. She is a professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Keskinocak is also the director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems.

They began their  conversation with Burress asking Keskinocak, “What is the supply chain?”