The American Red Cross COVID-19 Story: When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going


Lora Cecere, Founder & CEO of Supply Chain Insights
Leo Debandi, VP Analytics, Production & Inventory Planning at ARC
Michele Abbott, Sr. Director of Production Planning at ARC


Few think of American Red Cross in a supply-chain context, but their supply chain is as complex as any. And the consequences of a poorly run supply chain are not measured in dollars as is the case with other companies - it is the difference between life and death.

Typically, the Red Cross collects more than 4.5 million blood donations from nearly 2.6 million volunteers representing forty percent of the United States blood requirement. Under normal circumstances, the company depends on collections from schools and offices, but with these institutions closed, how could they drive donations during the pandemic?

Lora Cecere will host Leo Debandi and Michele Abbott for a conversation about the challenges and what they did to overcome them. It is the story of a talented team of planners and how they were able to pivot when the pandemic hit and quickly adjust to secure blood supply and save lives.

The topics that they will discuss:

  • Their journey to becoming a mature S&OP company
  • How they were able to pivot during the pandemic and redesign their supply chain network How they are integrating their digital marketing campaigns into their supply chain
  • How they are using attribute-based forecasting to drive their inventory plan