Supply chain securityNew Dashboard Allows U.S.-Mexico Supply Chain Analytics

Published 22 April 2021

A new web-based dashboard is designed to predict COVID-19 threats to supply chains, share data and foster analysis. The research provides real-time risk analysis for COVID-19’s potential impacts on trade.

A new web-based dashboard designed to predict COVID-19 threats to supply chains, share data and foster analysis is now available from Texas A&M University’s Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense, CBTS, Department of Homeland Security, DHS, Center of Excellence.

The COVID-19 Binational Dashboard, a project sponsored by the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office, follows a new approach, said Matt Cochran, CBTS research director. A group of experts from industry, academia and government from the U.S. and Mexico are creating an open and collaborative platform to improve decision-making by generating research on potential impacts – social, economic and environmental – on supply chains due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a highly sensitive problem that is continuously changing,” Cochran said. “DHS called for a neutral third party to look at the situation, and they needed someone who knew something about modeling.”

Analyzing COVID-19’s Impact
Zenon Medina-Cetina, associate professor in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and lead researcher on the multi-disciplinary project, said there is great concern some sectors of the supply chains could break. This project will monitor data and provide predictive analytics.

“From electrical parts that are used to produce dishwashers to a wide variety of agricultural products, we wanted to be responsive to what is happening and be able to provide information to improve decision-making by anyone within the supply chain,” Medina-Cetina said. “We’ve already identified more than 370 variables that are potential impacts of the supply chain. Rain, drought, hurricane, earthquakes – how can they disrupt the supply chain? We put those variables up front. What is the impact of having a power outage and we can’t issue vaccinations? Somebody will be charged for a supply chain disruption. Anybody trading with the U.S. can anticipate the threats to reroute or reconnect or whatever changes that might need to be made.”

The goal is to develop a data-lake platform concentrating near real-time analytics following a risk-systems approach that can provide strategic information about the evolution of COVID-19 and related current and emerging threats, the state of vulnerability of the health supply chain systems and the likely impacts a combination of these may cause to society, the economy and the environment.

“We want to help everyone and inform those who are active in trade with the U.S. who might want to know the state of risk,” Medina-Cetina said.

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