New Audio Available for Media Use: UCLA’s Chris Tang on How the Supply Chain Crisis Can and Should be Addressed in 2022


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

New Audio Available for Media Use: UCLA’s Chris Tang on How the Supply Chain Crisis Can and Should be Addressed in 2022

BALTIMORE, MD, December 17, 2021 – New audio is available for media use featuring supply chain expert Chris Tang. He is a Distinguished Professor at UCLA; the Edward W. Carter Chair in Business Administration; Senior Associate Dean, Global Initiatives; and Faculty Director, Center for Global Management. He is also an INFORMS member. INFORMS is the largest association for the decision and data sciences.

In this audio content, Tang discusses how the current supply chain crisis can and should be addressed now and in 2022. All sound should be attributed to Chris Tang. There are 4 questions and responses. These responses were provided on December 15, 2021.


Question 1: As we look forward to 2022, are our current supply chain problems a new normal, or is this a short-term issue?

Time Cue: 00:27, Soundbite Duration: 0:25 

Transcription: “Well actually, I think that it’s both. We have to take a step back to understand the supply chain problems, and the underlying root causes. On a short-term basis, we can think of we can think of ways to manage the ports and supplies better, we can get it resolved. For the long-term, I think we have a systemic problem that we need to address.”


Question 2: What kind of supply chain problems can be resolved more quickly going into 2022?

Time Cue: 01:02, Soundbite Duration: 0:40

Transcription: “In the short-term, I think there are many things we can do quickly to get those containers that are currently stuck on the west coast, to move them quickly from the port, to the terminal, to the warehouse, to the retailers.  So, for example, we can have the penalty put in place, which has already happened, and now the containers or moving. So, eventually, we can get that addressed. And also in terms of some of the products that only rely on domestic supply chains, such as toilet paper or some other products, we can actually get it addressed within 2022.”


Question 3: What kind of supply chain problems may linger longer into 2022, and why?

Time Cue: 01:48, Soundbite Duration: 00:31 

Transcription: “Well, I think that we do have a supply chain systemic problem. Some of them will linger much longer than 2022.  For example, currently we are facing a lot of shortages of semiconductor. Now that one cannot be addressed within a short period of time. So, that will linger much longer beyond 2022. That means that products such as cars, electronic toys, and home appliances that require semiconductors. So that is a major problem because the capacity cannot be increased within a short period of time.”  


Question 4: What policy changes or major actions need to be taken on the part of government, business or others to fix the supply chain crisis? 

Time Cue: 02:33, Soundbite Duration: 03:07 

Transcription: “Well, I think we have witnessed the vulnerabilities of our supply chain during this crisis. So, this is a time we need to think and reflect what has not been working. So, I think over the decades of outsourcing, it’s time for the government to rethink about how to balance, in terms of global supply chain and the regional supply chains, such that our supply chains will be more resilient. So, for instance, in terms of managing supply chain risk, first we need to identify where the risks lie. So, that requires that we do the supply chain mapping and we need supply chain transparency. Right now, the government and even companies don’t have fully supply chain visibility. They don’t even know who the tier one, or tier two, or tier three suppliers are. So, without knowing where they are, what the capabilities are, we cannot even evaluate the risk. Once we have that, there is step two. That’s where the INFORMS community can play a role in terms of running stress tests for different supply chains to understand how vulnerable the supply chains are, and events where we face certain types of disruptions, how long does it take to recover? So, that is very important. Now, this will require the government to work with the private sector and the INFORMS universities to really collect the right information and actually to change from information to data analytics. That’s where INFORMS can play a role. Third, once we understand the risk, then we can develop strategies how to mitigate risk just in case something happens. So, therefore, for example, we can work with the government, we INFORMS, on how to identify how much of the national stockpile inventory we should have, and what types of inventories, which products, and where and how much. We can do that. Secondly, we need to figure out what other domestic and regional supply chain capabilities and capacities that we could have just in case something should occur. Then we could pivot and actually leverage our regional supply chain capabilities and capacity to respond to disruptions. And the last one, after we figure out the strategy to mitigate the supply chain risks that last one is using information to trigger the response to disruptions. This is what I call the supply chain dashboard. So, in that case we have to keep track of information along the supply chain so that we can get an early warning signal, such that the government and the private sector can respond quickly to supply chain disruptions.”

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INFORMS advances and promotes the science and technology of decision making to save lives, save money, and solve problems. As the largest association for the decision and data sciences, INFORMS members support organizations and governments at all levels as they work to transform data into information, and information into insights that lead to more efficient, effective, equitable and impactful results. INFORMS’ 10,000+ members are comprised of a diverse and robust international community of practitioners, researchers, educators, and students from a variety of fields. 



Ashley Smith