Published April 21, 2020
If there’s a supply chain Jim Tompkins hasn’t seen, it hasn’t been invented. As the chairman and CEO of the international consultancy he founded in 1975, Tompkins has been at the forefront of every supply chain management trend of the past half-century. He sees the coronavirus pandemic as a before-and-after event for supply chains worldwide, saying businesses that structured their product flows to emphasize optimization and efficiency will need to radically change their models to balance cost imperatives with resiliency. As Tompkins, who announced his retirement as CEO on Monday (he remains the company’s chairman), told Mark B. Solomon in an early April interview, the challenges will not be easy, nor will they have a finish line.