Two weeks in to the coronavirus crisis, Lisa Morales-Hellebo and Brian Aoaeh, founders of The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation (#TWSCF), knew they had to help. “The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators was staggering; not to mention the difficulty finding suppliers, red tape in the ordering process, price gouging and fraud”, said Morales-Hellebo. “This creates an impossible hurdle for hospitals, nursing homes, local governments, shelters, prisons, and the like to filter through the noise to place orders,” she said. As an interdisciplinary, grassroots community of innovators and enterprises devoted to building supply chain networks of the future, #TWSCF is in a perfect position to help.
Morales-Hellebo and her team created a global clearinghouse to carefully vet and onboard PPE and related suppliers along with set fixed pricing. This is orchestrated with the help of numerous donations and both U.S. and overseas manufacturers.
#TWSCF partnered with JOOR, the leading tech fashion wholesale platform/marketplace that connects thousands of brand manufacturers and retailers. JOOR is providing #TWSCF a private marketplace for their verified suppliers and buyers, which enables instant access and scale for manufacturers, and the ones who need it most on the front lines. “We are taking orders through our private marketplace platform and harnessing the time and energy of JOOR employees who have volunteered to reach the thousands of brands who use us and engage them in the effort,” said Kristin Savilia, CEO of JOOR.
Airtable, an online data collaboration company has also been helping with the global database while logistics partners are in place to manage shipments from four regional hubs around the country. “It’s a terrific example of a localised, agile, and collaborative network”, said Aoaeh. Brands like Tibi, Everlane, Vera Bradley, Citizens of Humanity, Guess, Walter Baker, and more are participating.
“We’re also enabling small factories to rehire their workers that they recently laid off,” said Aoaeh. He added: “We’re not limited to fashion — we’ve been documenting innovative “Made in the USA” filtration materials for masks, new open source & lower cost ventilators, and emerging certified innovations for sterilisation and reuse of existing PPE, sourced from around the world.”
According to Morales-Hellebo: “If there is any silver lining to this global crisis, it has made crystal clear that our globalised supply chains are at risk. This is our wake-up call to invest in needed infrastructure for our most critical supplies to be manufactured in America which will create jobs and increase our national security.”
Manufacturers are encouraged to participate by going to www.theworldwidesupplychainfederation.com to match production capabilities with a list of healthcare products in demand. Healthcare facilities can sign up for the PPE they most need and will be granted access to the private marketplace once onboarded.
Also, local Government offices are encouraged to connect so they can take pressure off their resources and healthcare facilities in orchestration of PPE supply.