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With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout lagging far behind schedule, a Northeastern professor offers this advice to president-elect Joe Biden: Hire a supply chain expert from Amazon, Nike, or another company that manages complex inventory by overseeing all phases from end to end.

A wide range of businesses have developed a set of transferable skills and tools that could help the federal government to meet its goal of vaccinating 80 percent of the United States population, says Nada Sanders, distinguished professor of supply chain management at Northeastern.

“Every day, Nike is thinking about how much inventory they have, how they’re promoting it, how they’re selling it, who are the customers,” says Sanders. “They’re watching and communicating in real time with their production facilities and their distributors, which is the level of transparency that must be applied to vaccines—an especially complex product with stringent handling requirements and shelf life.”


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