Covid-19 Pandemic and Its Effects on Modern Business Life

SUBJECT: Covid-19 Pandemic and Its Effects on Modern Business Life

I am writing to share my perspective on the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on my current organization Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. The memo details actions taken by the organization during the pandemic and recommends other possible actions that could have been taken. 

The Covid-19 outbreak forced companies to reevaluate where employees work, how they deliver customer experiences, how technology such as digital platforms can support business operations and continuity, and how to relook at the entire supply chain operations. Covid-19 pandemic resulted in exceptional workflow disruption. Virtually every company, including Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, is still establishing how it will operate in the short and long-term as employees and society strive to perform and function, struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic and preparing even for more in the future. (Valaskova, Durana & Adamko, 2021). At Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, employees were forced to work in shifts while others were worked from home during the peak of the Covid-19 before vaccines came to reduce crowing. Consumer behaviors also changed significantly during the pandemic, with many shifting to online buying, and as a company, we had to change with the changes, shifting most of the sales focus online. In terms of operations, the covid-19 outbreak left the company leaders questioning some lean practices and whether they make sense moving forward.

For Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a company that manufactures automobile parts, lean principle or just-in-time manufacturing proved hectic during the onset of covid-19. Lean manufacturing most adopted by our company is founded on the principle that reducing waste, operating with precision, and eliminating redundancies is fundamental to succeeding in the market. In the operating model, extra inventory is considered a wastage of resources. The model assumes a supply chain that is responsive and always on and available (Lacerda, Xambre & Alvelos, 2016). However, this assumption seemed unrealistic and dysfunctional during the covid-19 pandemic. For a company manufacturing tracks, car parts, and other machinery, a lead manufacturing model where you only keep a bare minimum of extra inventory required to meet customer demands cannot operate when plants are closed down for months, say during a global pandemic. Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the global supply chain, cutting down the supply sources for some of the manufacturing components needed by the company and disrupting the workforce, and in turn, the production process (Butt, 2021).


However, despite the challenges with workforce and supply disruptions and the need to relook at our lean systems, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ leadership did not bow to pressure. Instead, several strategies and restructuring were tried in response to the impacts of the pandemic. Responding to the covid-19 pandemic, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ leadership underscored the need to accelerate value chain transformation and agile working approach to outmaneuver the uncertainty. Bendix’s leadership opted to leverage technology to manage the disruptions caused by the covid-19. The administration held that the new reality is a problem to just-in-time or lean manufacturing, but it does not imply that the model ceased to be useful or relevant for the company. It means that real-time visibility and transparency are going to be vital if the company is to continue operating on the lean manufacturing principle. One strategy to balance the company’s lead processes with the new norms emerging as the pandemic wanes is to increase investment in technologies that provide real-time visibility into the entire supply chain and order process. The company chose not to wait until things levels up but to continue building inventory to match the post-pandemic demands. Real-time visibility and transparency within the supply chain is the only way manufacturing companies can keep their lean manufacturing practices from their recovery (Butt, 2021).

To add to this, I think a change in the decision-making process is also critical for organizations responding to the impacts of covid-19. Companies, including Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, should focus on shifting from top-down decision-making models, investing terms guided by goals/purpose, empowered by technology, driven by data and faster speed to the market. Responding to a pandemic such as covid-19 and accompanied uncertainties call for abandoning rigid organizational structures and building a porous organization with modules that auto plug and play. In other words, covid-19 has taught us that we need to develop intelligent organizations capable of dynamic self-management and constant adaption, built for resiliency, agility and growth.

The Covid-19 also underline the need to address structural challenges in public healthcare, particularly the US health care systems. Even though the United States may not be expected to operate at peak during rare crises like covid-19, when the tide goes out on the healthcare systems, many loopholes became more visible, particularly on capacity and utilization. The first 45 days into the covid-19 crisis made visual some hidden challenges. First, the US did not have a stockpile of adequate personal protective equipment, many US health facilities have poor infection control protocols, and there is a lack of interoperability to easily share data, alongside shaky supply chain of critical medications, the list is quite long and can be more granular (Slavitt, 2020). A critical change is needed in the US health care systems, including shifting from a system where people pay insurance companies to where they pay clinicians. This will keep the hospitals afloat and equip them to meet the patients’ needs better. Many people lost access to primary care as their jobs ended, which should not be the case.


Butt, A. S. (2021). Strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain disruptions: a multiple case analysis of buyers and distributors. The International Journal of Logistics Management.

Lacerda, A. P., Xambre, A. R., & Alvelos, H. M. (2016). Applying Value Stream Mapping to eliminate waste: a case study of an original equipment manufacturer for the automotive industry. International Journal of Production Research54(6), 1708-1720.

Slavitt, A. (2020, July). The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to address structural challenges of the US health care system. In JAMA Health Forum (Vol. 1, No. 7, pp. e200839-e200839). American Medical Association.

Valaskova, K., Durana, P., & Adamko, P. (2021). Changes in consumers’ purchase patterns as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mathematics9(15), 1788.