Now at ohio state Podcast

The Secret World of Supply Chains

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In this episode, two researchers talk about the role of supply chains in society, the importance of natural rubber and the “new normal” after COVID.

Terry Esper, PhD, is an Ohio State logistics professor who studies how products get to the marketplace and into people’s hands.

Dr. Terry Esper

Supply chains are the invisible engine behind how products reach us. But COVID exposed how a lot of companies lacked safety stock or “buffer inventory” when demand patterns shifted. 

“As it relates to supply chains … I think that it’ll be more than likely 2024 before we will get back to that state of what we might even call normalcy.” 

Katrina Cornish, PhD, is a global expert on alternative natural rubber production who has created multiple ways of growing latex-producing crops.

Dr. Katrina Cornish

 “There's no sector of our economy or defense that isn't completely dependent on a regular supply of natural rubber.”

COVID gave us a glimpse of
how dependent we are on
other countries, specifically China who controls 80% of the global rubber supply. “We are reactive rather than proactive.”

Her lab in Wooster uses rubber dandelion and guayule to make solid and latex rubber so we are “not dependent upon the goodwill of other nations for our other supply.”

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