economy downturn due to corona virus


The overall economy has been on the downturn due to coronavirus. The supply chains of many popular brands have been disrupted causing shocks down to the consumer level. This led companies to reevaluate their strategies during the pandemic and find ways to streamline their processes to keep up with consumer demands while handling breaks in the supply chain. The major way that companies have handled this situation is by cutting weight from their portfolio, reducing their product and service offerings to those that provide the most value to the company. For example, McDonalds have cut the salads from their menus for the time being and removed the all day breakfast offerings which has reduced drive through time by 25 seconds.

This change in direction to “less” is something that many companies intend to continue moving forward. With the uncertainty in the market the development of new products, such as seasonal beers, is being postponed as companies focus on their leading products. Variety has been reduced, such as offering a single size of toilet paper rather than multiple sizes, which always allows for more efficient manufacturing and smoother logistics.



American culture has been obsessed with having as much variety as possible to cater to as many people as possible and allowed brands to take control of larger sections of the big box stores. However, as supply chains struggled with the global epidemic, brands took on a contrarian position and worked to reduce and streamline their product selection and in turn their manufacturing and distribution.

Although the situation is less than ideal, many companies have found ways to significantly improve their supply chain and will come out of the epidemic with a more robust and efficient system. This event has acted as a catalyst for companies to analyze and refine their process, which led some companies to purge underperforming products and others to accelerate the planned phasing out of certain products.


Relate to Operations Management:

The main objective of Operations Management is to make a company move smoothly, efficiently, and to grow their business. The pandemic has affected many businesses and forced them to reevaluate their supply chains and attempt to refine their processes on an accelerated timeline. Operations managers have had to utilize all their skills by analyzing the performance of products and removing underperforming items to lessen the load on an already stressed logistical system, as well as analyze which products are overly complicated with a less worthwhile return. This pandemic has given operations management an unprecedented opportunity to refine and adjust logistical processes with free reign.



Gasparro, A., Bunge, J., Haddon, H. (2020, June 27). Why the American Consumer Has Fewer Choices – Maybe for Good.  The Wall Street Journal.

Starter Questions for Discussion


1 – What could be done to alleviate the issue if you were in charge with operations management?


2- What role has operational management played on manufacturing and service industries in this COVID-19 outbreak?


3- How do you think consumers will respond to the decrease in choices available if the pandemic resolves? Do you think companies will revert back to provide more variety? Why or why not?


4- Will this minimalistic strategy still be effective after this pandemic?