UNITIPOSSIAMO – the platform to help shopkeepers

Five former students from the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano, together with others from the same university’s Schools and a number of under-30 volunteers, have established a non-profit startup to help shopkeepers overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

Unitipossiamo or Italian for “together we can”, is a non-profit initiative stemming from the desire of 15 young men and women from all over Italy – mostly unknown to each other – to help shopkeepers overcome the Covid-19 crisis. The project has developed with the voluntary commitment of young professionals and has been rewarded under the Hackforitaly initiative. At present, the platform pools together more than 4,000 business activities across Italy, who either sell purchase vouchers or home deliver their products. In the next few days this number is expected to increase to more than 43,000, generating cash flows of up to €90m for shopkeepers.

Why “together we can”?

Everyone is aware of the need to lend a hand, which is why Italy has seen a multitude of diverse initiatives crop up across the country in an attempt to help trade. But we believe that a fragmented approach is counterproductive. Therefore, we decided to pool together all these initiatives in a single platform, to facilitate those wishing to make a contribution. Aggregator sites simplify searches, meaning that users no longer need to wade through dozens of different sites, and increase visibility for shopkeepers.
The intention behind all these small-to-medium sized initiatives is laudable, but they are unlikely to have a systemic impact if they operate alone. Together, instead, we can.

The problem in figures and its potential impact

The temporary closure of shops could have important repercussions on employment. We are talking about 43,000 closed businesses and, in the darkest possible scenario, of 630,000 jobs at risk.
With an initiative like Unitipossiamo, we believe that, in just a few days, we can reach 43,000 business activities and 4.5 million users who, with an average expenditure of €20 each, could convey over €90m to shopkeepers in difficulty.

What is Hackforitaly?

Taking inspiration from previous initiatives in other European countries, the Italian edition of the event, Hack for Italy, involved an intense weekend (27-29 March) during which several teams worked online to find digital and non-digital solutions to the economic and social challenges arising from the crisis caused by the current epidemic, split by the following categories: Save Lives, Save Communities, Save Businesses.

Almost 1,500 people took up the challenge, putting forward more than 50 projects, developed, starting from simple ideas, during the intense 48-hour marathon. During the first day, teams were formed as the projects were presented, with professionals, experts and entrepreneurs, who had never met before, contributing their diverse backgrounds to the creativity and feasibility of the projects presented.

Responding to the pandemic: what’s required is a (new) industrial policy

The ongoing pandemic is bringing the global economy to its knees, but history teaches us that it is possible to recover from the blow: the essential stepping stones to starting afresh are attention to new business opportunities, flexibility and innovation, backed by an active industrial policy


Massimo G. Colombo, professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Finance
School of Management Politecnico di Milano


The coronavirus pandemic promises to bring the world economy to its knees, with devastating consequences for the GDP of every country, no matter how developed.
However, scientific literature analysing the economic impact of previous “perfect storms” gives us some hope. The capitalist system is resilient, and rapid collapses in demand and production are more or less quickly followed by recovery, which can be more or less vigorous (see the Economist, 21-27 March, “Free exchange: From v to victory”).

What should the Italian government do to make the post-pandemic recovery as quick and vigorous as possible?

First of all, regardless of the measures that the European Commission will put in place, we must not repeat our past mistakes and we must be prepared to do “whatever it takes”. The first essential step, on which everyone agrees, is to support those suffering from a significant decline in income, in order to sustain aggregate demand and avoid the country’s social disintegration. Italy’s production must also be ensured the liquidity required to avoid closing down healthy firms facing temporary difficulties, thereby preventing a long-term reduction in production capacity. The loan guarantee facility supporting access to finance by SMEs is a step in the right direction. The important thing is to reopen the taps should this facility be insufficient.

However, we must go further still and draw up an active industrial policy for recovery. Apart from the negative shock on supply and demand, the pandemic also generates exciting new business opportunities, connected with transformed consumer models and new ways of doing business. Clear examples are the unique advantages of teleworking and the increased, albeit forced, interest in home shopping and entertainment services.

In this situation, small businesses, especially young ones, are ideally positioned to capture these new business opportunities, due to their flexibility and the spirit of initiative of the entrepreneurs who manage them. Moreover, they can prove to be a fundamental element of strength and dynamism in the national production system. However, to express their growth potential, they must be able to restructure and alter their resource portfolio, investing with a long-term perspective in innovative products and services and in the ability to market them globally. A study on the strategies of a sample of 340 high-tech Italian start-ups during the global crisis of 2008, carried out by the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano and coordinated by Professor Colombo, confirms this point of view. Despite the average decline in demand that these firms experienced between 2008 and 2010, start-ups that invested massively in product and service innovation and in market internationalization experienced a 20% higher than average growth in turnover during this period.

It is the responsibility of the Italian Government to support and facilitate the transformation processes of such companies. On the one hand, the government must ensure that these companies have access, at competitive conditions, to the financial resources – in particular in the form of risk capital – necessary to support these processes and to scale their business. The CDP Innovation Fund is ideal for this purpose.

On the other hand, it is likely that high-skill human resources (managers, technicians) will have to leave large and small businesses adopting business models rendered obsolete by the pandemic, and will become available on the labour market. These human resources are invaluable for the growth of innovative small businesses. The government can facilitate their absorption into such firms, for example by temporarily suspending social security contributions for newly recruited qualified personnel.


Smart Learning in times of Coronavirus emergency … and beyond

Federico Frattini, MIP Graduate School of Business Dean

The current emergency due to Coronavirus has forced schools and universities in Italy (but it is likely that the same will happen soon in other countries) to shift to online learning to ensure continuity to their educational programs. Some institutions are better prepared to this shift due to previous experiences in the field, others are experimenting with these new approaches to teaching in this moment of emergency. However, there is a strong and generalized effort made in this direction in Italy, which testifies to the maturity of online learning and to its practical applicability.

The biggest challenge in this shift is to recognize that online learning is not just a matter of using a digital platform to teach the same class that would have been otherwise taught in a physical setting. In fact, online learning requires a deep restructuring of the teaching approach and the use of different digital tools to satisfy different educational needs. In particular, it is necessary to acknowledge that in a traditional, face-to-face class, the teacher mixes up three different learning tools. First, there is the need to transfer to each student concepts, tools and notions (what we can call knowledge) pertaining to a particular discipline. Secondly, professors need to encourage students to apply this knowledge to solve practical cases, thereby transforming knowledge into competence. Finally, students need to use competence socially, by engaging in discussion around the key take-aways of the class and bringing competence closer to their personal experience. Of course, these three components have varying levels of importance in different educational settings. In post-graduate programs, the application of knowledge and its socialization are of the otmost importance. While in schools transferring concepts, notions and tools takes the highest priority.

In an online setting, these three components of an effective class cannot be blended and mixed up by using a single digital tool. They have to be broken down and taught by using various properly designed methods. Knowledge is better transferred by using asynchronous, self-paced digital materials, such as video clips recorded by the professor or selected from the huge landscape of educational material available on the web (for instance, the well-known MOOCs platform such as Coursera or EdX). The application of such knowledge to real cases and examples can be done through live, online sessions, using tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout, Cisco WebEx, Slack, Zoom or similar platforms. Finally, the socialization of the acquired competence can be supported by semi-synchronous social discussion tools, accurately moderated by the professors or tutors. It is only by carefully designing these three different components of an effective educational experience that schools and universities can successfully move their teaching online.

At MIP, the Graduate School of Business of Politecnico di Milano, we call this approach Smart Learning, and we have been using it since 2014 in our digital Masters and MBA programs. This is an area where we have obtained great results, with more that 550 students who have studied in one of our digital programs since 2014 and with our International Flex MBA which has been ranked among the top ten masters worldwide according to the recent online MBA ranking by the Financial Times.

The problem with Smart Learning is not technological. Digital tools that can be used to this aim are largely available at zero or very limited costs (interestingly, most of the biggest players mentioned above offer licenses for their platforms for free in this situation of emergency). It is also not a matter of internet connection. Most of the online learning platforms available on the market also work perfectly on mobile devices, with a standard 4G connection. The key issue is organizational. Designing an effective online program requires expertise and knowledge in fields such as instructional design or online discussion moderation, and the willingness and ability to train professors to use this new approach.

My hope is that the Coronavirus emergency will leave behind a greater familiarity with – and a better understanding of the value of – Smart Learning, which is a flexible and inclusive approach to teaching, with huge potential applications beyond a situation of emergency like the one we are all currently experiencing.

Smart working during the time of the coronavirus

Not just a fact of modernity, good practices and work-life balance: smart working for companies is now a matter of survival. 


Mariano Corso, Professor of Leadership and Innovation, Scientific Coordinator of the Smart Working Observatories and Cloud Transformation


What is smart working and at what stage is it at in Italy?

Smart working is a managerial philosophy based on the concept of restoring autonomy to workers, as well as giving them flexibility in the choice of workplace, working hours and tools to be used, and with more responsibility for the results. Too often smart working is confused with teleworking or is associated with welfare and mediation policies.
The real change that comes from smart working is much deeper than that: it is a shift from management based on presenteeism and control to management based on trust, cooperation, flexibility and delegation.

To undertake a smart working project, companies must operate around four key enablers: organisational policies on flexibility in working hours and workplace; digital technologies that expand and create a virtual work space; the physical layout of work spaces, which impacts working methods and may affect efficiency, effectiveness and wellbeing; and leadership styles and behaviour, associated with both the culture of the workers and their way of “living” their work, and the approach by managers to the exercise of authority and control.

Since 2017, Italy has had one of the most advanced legal frameworks for smart working in the world[1] and this practice is becoming increasingly widespread, especially in large organisations: in 2019, 58% had already introduced a structured project and 5% stated that they would introduce one within the next 12 months.
In SMEs, the spread of smart working initiatives is increasing and totals 12%; in these companies, the informal approach continues to be preferred and is followed by 18% of the sample.
Interest in smart working is also starting to grow in the public administration: structured projects have doubled from 8% to 16% since last year.
The number of smart workers is also increasing[2]: based on analysis performed on a statistically representative panel of workers, we estimate the figure to be around 570,000[3] people, 20% more than last year.

Why is there so much emphasis on smart working at the time of this health emergency?

The Covid-19 emergency has put smart working at the centre of political and media attention; this is because teleworking is a measure that enables compliance with the restrictions brought about by the current health emergency while at the same time ensuring business continuity.

What most people are starting to apply, however, is not “real” smart working, but rather an extreme and forced experience of “teleworking” where workers have no opportunity to choose where to work but are in fact forced to stay at home. Moreover, preparation for real smart working would require a transformation of the managerial model and the culture of the organisation, and radical innovation in the way work is designed and its relationship with the organisation. Specifically, according to the principles of smart working, workers should be encouraged to assume increasing autonomy in the choice of working methods, trying out new solutions and discovering how they measure up against the results. Such a cultural transition cannot happen quickly, though, as required by this emergency, but must be supported by communication, training and support initiatives.

The Covid-19 emergency has, however, been an extremely valuable test of organisational robustness and resilience. The companies and public administration departments that had already introduced models of smart working found themselves at an advantage and have much more easily absorbed the discontinuity. In many cases, they have proven to be surprisingly organised and resilient. In such organisations, many people already had the tools, skills and culture to enable them to work efficiently outside the business environment; moreover, the steps to be completed to allow other people to also work efficiently away from their workplace were already known (e.g. technology required, what type of access, what training to give, etc.).

Conversely, all those companies and public administration departments, which, due to cultural and organisational resistance, had refused to embrace this change, found themselves technologically, culturally and managerially unprepared and vulnerable in the face of the emergency. Many of these, despite having activities that could in theory be carried out remotely, forced people to continue working at their traditional workplace, exposing them to considerable risks and inconveniences. Others chose to cease activities, perhaps forcing people to take holidays or leave or resorting to lay-offs. Lastly, many have tried to “improvise” smart working, by asking people to work from home despite not having the culture, tools and skills in place.

Smart working after the coronavirus: never again without it!

What can we learn from this huge experiment with a new way of working? It should be emphasised once again that what organisations and people are experiencing is not “real” smart working, but a type of forced and extreme teleworking, which also brings with it some of the typical issues of teleworking: a feeling of isolation, difficulties with staying connected, and maintaining a work/life balance.

Yet despite the inevitable “forced nature” of this, organisations and people are carrying out a programme of training and awareness-raising which, in “normal” conditions would have taken years! Many people are learning to use innovative tools that enable joint working, to connect with and work together in teams whose members are in different places, and to maintain positive informal relationships via an array of digital devices. Many managers and workers, once sceptical about smart working, have realised how many activities, which they had always assumed required their presence in the office, can be done remotely via digital tools with equal or superior efficiency. In many cases, however, we have found ourselves appreciating or regretting office environments and situations that we often superficially took for granted.

We hope, therefore, that this emergency will not last long, but that at the end of it we will never look back! We hope that companies, public administration departments and society as a whole, will seize the opportunity, in light of this experience, to review their ways of organising production processes, spaces, and work and life patterns. We will then be able to return to smart working with even more vigour and maturity to tackle the many “everyday emergencies”: pollution, traffic, discrimination and, above all, the backwardness of a labour market, managerial culture and economy that need to be relaunched for the growth and good of our country!



[1] Reference is made in particular to Law 81/2017 on Agile Working.

[2] For the purposes of the survey, smart workers were considered to be all employees that have flexibility and autonomy in their choice of working hours and workplace and who have digital tools suitable for working on the go, including outside company premises.

[3] Survey carried out on a sample of 1,000 workers. For more details see the methodology note.


Will Covid-19 change China’s economic DNA?

Giuliano Noci, Professor of Strategy & Marketing, Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese Campus of the Politecnico di Milano


In the fateful year of 2020, the year in which China had set itself the target of doubling GDP compared with 2010, the country found itself the cause of a pandemic and facing an unprecedented economic and political challenge: Covid-19, which originated in the province of Hubei, has essentially led to a virtual paralysis in industrial activity and travel throughout China, causing heavy repercussions for both China and the rest of the world.


We are trying to carry on in an orderly manner and, above all, to avoid resorting to unhelpful analogies with the past. It is not a case of drawing on what happened with SARS in 2003: at that time, China accounted for 4% of global GDP whereas today it accounts for over 16% – the added value generated now totals USD 14 trillion – and, most importantly, it is much more integrated with the rest of the world, due to the effects of its entry into the WTO.

In this framework, focusing attention on the domestic effects, it is now almost a foregone conclusion that Beijing’s leadership will clearly struggle to meet the growth targets set for 2020 (+5.7% of growth in the domestic economy). Specifically, any economic growth in the first quarter will be very low: there is effectively no monetary or fiscal stimulus capable of dealing with a supply and demand crisis such as that encountered in the first two months of 2020. Suffice it to say that demand fell by 90%, travel within China was reduced to a minimum precisely at the time of the Lunar New Year, i.e. the period in which the propensity to spend in the population is at its highest, property transactions were broadly non-existent, and e-commerce sites recorded falls of 40%-80% in the purchase of luxury goods. On the production front, for almost a month plants were at a virtual standstill and it was only in the last week of February that production slowly recovered to reasonable levels – albeit not yet fully exploiting production capacity – in the first ten days of March.

Once the emergency is over, it is reasonable to expect a stimulus plan from the Politburo, which must, however, in my opinion, have very different features from the impressive plan of over USD 500 billion made available in 2008. It cannot be based solely on public investment (mainly in infrastructure) as it will be necessary to support the income of individuals due to potential negative repercussions on employment; great attention will need to be paid to the issue of lending to companies – overall Chinese debt has rocketed from 2008 and now stands at 310% of GDP, i.e. more focus needs to be put on the quality than the quantity of the stimulus. I’ll try to explain what I mean: given that China has decided to focus on the “New Normal”, i.e. to transform the economic system from the world’s production workshop to an innovation hub, it must exploit this (drastic) situation to launch measures consistent with the new strategic reference horizon. Specifically, it is vital inter alia, to work for: (i) a reduction in bureaucracy, which represents an overwhelming burden on the business system – in recent weeks, moreover, the Beijing leaders have decided to abolish paper for many practices as it is a vehicle of contagion, (ii) an improvement in the national health system, whose inefficiency and cost are the cause of a moderate propensity to spend by the average Chinese person, in view of the need to autonomously support spending for treatment in old age, (iii) the full use of digital technology to support the fundamental process of growth in the skills of labourers, which represent an essential ingredient for achieving an industrial system that is capable of creating more added value than in the past. On the other hand, the Beijing government must launch measures aimed at containing the probable reshoring of some of the production activities of foreign players, as the latter will very probably decide, based on more prudent sourcing strategies, to reshore, at least in part, production sites previously opened in China based on a logic underpinned purely by the criterion of efficient supply policies. And there is one and only one mechanism available to the Politburo: further liberalisation, as advocated by the US Chamber of Commerce in China, namely foreign business practices and the rights to manage the intellectual property of foreign companies.

In short, only a real change in pace in the reform process, which has been announced many times but never fully followed through, will enable China to resume in 2021 the long march undertaken with the Deng reform, in the hope of becoming the largest economic power on the planet. We must, however, be completely clear that the road is still very long and the obstacles may be completely unpredictable, as the current emergency shows. It is a road that requires a leader with the farsightedness of Deng, and this is where we will see whether the Xi Jinping Thought will have the key not only to be enshrined in the Constitution but for China to aim at a position of economic and technological leadership.


Coronavirus is the acid test of global supply chains’ resilience

The Covid-19 pandemic is the harbinger of unpredictable and unprecedented scenarios. But the adaptability of industrial supply chains and a proactive approach can make the difference.

Paolo Trucco, Professor of Industrial Risk Management


In its Global Risk Report 2018, the World Economic Forum had already given a clear warning sign. “Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated and managed with standard risk management approaches. But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world, such as organizations, economies, societies and the environment. There are signs of strain in many of these systems: our accelerating pace of change is testing the absorptive capacities of institutions, communities and individuals. When risk cascades through a complex system, the danger is not of incremental damage but of “runaway collapse” or an abrupt transition to a new, suboptimal status quo.”
The picture that has been emerging in recent weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has all the characteristics of being a systemic risk, which will have long-lasting effects over time and from which we must expect radical and structural transformations of society as well as the global economic system. From an industrial standpoint, much will depend on the ability of businesses to understand how the global scenario is evolving and to adopt a proactive and adaptive approach, both in the short run, to respond effectively to the impact on operations, and in the long term, to adjust their business models to the new context.

High-Tech and Automotive: the global supply chains most affected to date

In the province of Hubei alone, where activities are still broadly at a standstill, around two million cars are produced every year, second by volume only to the area of Guangdong. In January and February 2020, over 60% of Chinese assembly plants were shut down or in some way affected by the spread of the crisis. Global brands such as General Motors, PSA, Renault and Honda have their own plants or joint ventures in the region to serve the entire Asian market. All these plants have suffered production shutdowns for at least 12 days and still operate under limited capacity.
China is also a major exporter of motor vehicle components (USD 33.5 billion in 2019), especially to the US, EU and Japan. Producers in the province of Hubei are typically Tier 2 suppliers, which supply Tier 1 suppliers located in other parts of China; the latter, in turn, ship their products through the east coast ports to reach the western markets.
The entire global car industry, which adopts very aggressive JIT models and thus keeps very low inventories, has suffered, or will suffer, production shutdowns due to the lack of critical components: FCA has had to shut down some of its European plants; and under current conditions, GM will only be able to operate in the US until the end of March.
Lastly, a third element is of paramount importance in understanding the impact that the Chinese coronavirus epidemic will have on the automotive sector, namely the significance of that market for the financial stability and profitability of many American and European brands. In 2019, GM sold more vehicles in China than in the United States and the Volkswagen’s joint ventures in China accounted for over 26% of the Group’s EBIT in 2018.

The global electronics industry is also heavily dependent on Chinese production in many segments of the whole supply chain. Critical materials such as rare-earth elements (REEs) are extracted in great quantities in Guangxi and the whole sector has already experienced, in 2010, the devastating effects on production volumes and costs of a drastic contraction in Chinese exports of these materials. There are also important producers of chips and printed circuit boards in the province of Hubei, but in this case the highly-automated processes have mitigated the impact, leading to a rapid recovery to normal operations. Final assembly companies, such as Foxconn, are predominantly located in the areas of Guangdong and Shanghai, or in other neighbouring towns. Assembly phases are typically labour-intensive and, for this reason, these companies have suffered the greatest constraints. This has had a significant impact on market leaders such as Apple or Hewlett Packard, which in recent years, have concentrated a large part of their supply base in China.

Black Swan and industrial Darwinism: those who change win, not those who resist

The global crisis that we are starting to tackle will make it even more obvious that in a rapidly- changing and highly uncertain world, the adaptability of organisations and industrial supply chains is an key factor for success. Resilient supply chains are characterised by their ability to sense weak signals of emerging pressures or shocks, to prepare for the unexpected and to respond rapidly and in an adaptive manner to crisis situations, by reconfiguring their processes and operating models. It is by adopting a similar proactive, rather than reactive, approach that resilient organisations can also turn threats into opportunities, performing better than their direct competitors, or adopting innovative solutions that structurally change the competitive landscape in the aftermath of a crisis.

In the last decade, both the automotive and the high-tech industries have faced big disruptions that are very similar to the current one and have learned important lessons. Undoubtedly, the most significant event is the triple disaster that hit Japan in March 2011, which saw a combination of the biggest earthquake in the last 140 years of the country’s history, a devastating tsunami and the resulting nuclear accident. DELL was one of the most exposed high-tech giants at that time, as it had a large number of its components sub-suppliers located in the most affected area, which, in turn, supplied the assembly plants in Korea and Thailand. Thanks to its MTO (make-to-order) operating model, fed purely by on-line sales channels and supported by very strong relationships with suppliers, DELL was able to successfully manage the crisis via three broad actions: dynamic management of supply and shift of demand to feasible product configurations based on available parts; on-site coordination of the emergency thanks to technicians and procurement managers physically located in Korea and Thailand; and technical and operational support to suppliers, thus ensuring maximum visibility and coordination at all levels of the supply chain. Its direct competitors were not able to do the same, suffering losses both in turnover in the short term and in major market shares once the crisis was over.
The automotive sector was also substantially affected by the so-called “triple disaster”, which brought the Japanese economy to its knees. When, some months later, the rainy season brought huge flooding and devastation in Thailand, lasting from July 2011 to January 2012, Nissan Motors also found itself facing a second severe emergency just few months later. While the three major Japanese manufacturers recorded losses of over EUR 300 million in operating profit, Nissan’s sales hit an all-time high in fiscal year 2011, while profit grew year-on-year.

How can we explain such a difference in results in the same operating and market conditions? At that juncture, Nissan certainly proved the value of its corporate motto: “The power comes from inside”. In the few months from March to July, Nissan was able to put into action lessons learned from the disaster in Japan and exploited them fully to tackle the new disaster: extensive and consistent implementation of a business community management (BCM) system, coordinated by a Global Disaster Control Headquarters; review of sourcing strategies and redesign of the supply base, based on a multi-level risk analysis; intensive exchange of information and coordination with suppliers and sub-suppliers; and review of production plans to take advantage of the production windows of suppliers granted by “rolling blackout” policies implemented by the Thai electricity operator.

While, on the one hand, the Chinese coronavirus epidemic cannot be categorised as a black swan, it is equally plausible that its transition into a global pandemic, as declared by the WHO in the first week of March, is the harbinger of unpredictable and unprecedented scenarios. For example, the extension of production shutdowns in north Italy in the wake of what has happened so far in the Lodi area would represent a hard blow to the entire European automotive sector.

What awaits us once the emergency is over: threats and opportunities

The Chinese government’s initial response to the spread of the virus, at both central and local level, was drastic: the complete closure of factories and companies and a substantial ban on movement by people. Now, when major progress is being made in containing the virus in various areas of the country, the central government has launched an aggressive “return to work” campaign. This includes financial support and medical supplies to companies that are resuming activity, as well as huge efforts to re-establish essential services. The local authorities are also acting synergistically, implementing differentiated actions specific to the conditions of different cities and provinces. Only the province of Hubei is still subject to major containment actions.

However, the recovering Chinese economy is significantly different from the pre-coronavirus economy: not only because many companies have not weathered the impact and have gone bankrupt, e.g. in the construction sector, but also, and most importantly, because in many sectors the coronavirus has led to drastic operational restructuring and business models innovations. One example that stands out is the substantial increase in capacity of the medical sector, which, from now on, will take the role of a global player in all respects. In the clothing and personal care sector, the mix of sales channels has changed dramatically. The shift on e-commerce B2C and B2B channels during the emergency period has permanently changed the structure of entire supply chains, with long-term effects that are only for the moment limited to China.
This is all happening while the rest of the advanced countries are preparing to face the peaks of contagion, which will strike Europe and the USA synchronously. Here the key question comes: what will happen when, in late spring, China will be the only industrialised country with a fully recovered and transformed industrial capacity, and with a rapidly recovering domestic demand?

It is difficult to make predictions either on a global or local scale. What is very likely, though, is that in the West, as in China, the only supply chains that will survive and find new growth opportunities will be those that, after abandoning the “last Japanese” syndrome (i.e. resisting), will have been able to adapt to the changes, by innovating processes and business models.