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Supply chains can easily break – here's how they can be made more resilient to prevent shortages

By Tom Stacey, Senior Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Anglia Ruskin University
Ying Xie, Professor in Supply Chain Management, Anglia Ruskin University
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Supply chains are essential to everyday life, bringing materials to factories, food to your plate, and fuel to your car.

The links in those chains – the manufacturers, logistics companies, warehouses and retailers – combine to form dynamic systems driven by customer demand. But a small, unpredictable change in demand can have major ramifications, as seen with the recent queues and rising tempers at petrol stations in the UK.

This is because modern supply chains are not designed to cope with large…

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