Disruptions due to COVID-19 – the ultimate stress test for supply chain managers

Cees J. Gelderman*, Janjaap Semeijn, Sierd Feenstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were struggling to maintain an uninterrupted flow of goods and services. Based on expert interviews, we investigate the effectiveness of various solutions and strategies to counter different supply chain disruptions. At the beginning of the pandemic, proactive measures such as stock buffering and dual sourcing proved to be useful in case of upstream disruptions (supply shortages), due to closure or reduced production or distribution. A counterintuitive finding is that reactive measures appear more effective than proactive measures in case of downstream disruptions (demand spikes), due to sudden shifts of demand. Based on our findings we propose several research propositions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-336
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Supply Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • COVID-19 response
  • resilience
  • supply chain disruptions
  • supply chain strategy


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