Critical Supply Chain CRC

Type of bid: CRC
Round: Round 23
Contact for bid: Prof. Tao Gu
Status of bid: Full business case development
Seeking partners: Yes
Prospectus: CSC CRC Prospectus
Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the long-standing fragility of the medical products supply chain. Global shortages of medical products resulted in high prices, an increase in suspect suppliers and disruptive interventions by various stakeholders in desperate attempts to secure dwindling supplies. While attention has focused on personal protective equipment (PPE), shortages extended to testing supplies, ventilators, pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies (including those not directly related to COVID-19).

Decades of driving efficiencies in the supply of medical products has established a long and highly globalised supply chain that simply cannot cope with ‘black swan’ events like COVID-19. The successful adoption of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Supply Chain Management technologies will completely change the way businesses operate across the medical products supply chain, shaping the future of our supply chain. These technologies will address the challenges in the supply chain by:
Greater end-to-end transparency of critical ingredients, components and materials;
Better management of inventory across the entire system;
More coordinated procurement across the health system;
Reduced dependency on particular suppliers;
Better information to assist in product design for a more agile supply chain;
Greater capacity to rapidly repurpose manufacturing capacity and capability in emergency situations; and
Lower cost of local manufacture to ensure a strong viable export oriented medical products industry.

The delivery of health care relies on the reliable supply of four essential categories of products:
Pharmaceuticals;
Personal protective equipment (PPE);
Medical devices; and
Medical supplies.

Each of these categories has a distinct supply chain, and the failure of any one of these chains can have catastrophic impacts on the system as a whole.

While the Critical Supply Chain CRC will focus on the medical products supply chain, the technologies and knowledge developed will also be applicable to supply chains for other manufactured products. As such the impact of this CRC will likely extend beyond the focus industry.