Monday, September 9, 2013

Steps to Take When Disaster Strikes

With this week’s topic touching on planning and managing inventories in supply chain, I decided to find an article that would touch on natural disasters. The article I found was titled “Natural Disasters: Is your supply chain emergency-ready?” David Weaver wrote this on a supply chain blog.

The article touched on what a natural disaster really is. The definition in the blog stated that a natural disaster “is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of or effecting, the earth.”[1] Hurricane Sandy and the tsunami in Japan in 2011 were both referenced.  With Hurricane Sandy happening last fall, crops and livestock were deeply affected. Grocery stores were flooded which resulted in the discarding of spoiled food.[2]  With grocery stores closing temporarily after Hurricane Sandy, some stayed closed permanently because of the damages and loss of money. The tsunami Japan affected global supply chains especially Toyota. Toyota had to shut their factories in the United States due to the scarcities in parts. Toyota was worried that their status of number one carmaker would soon be demoted.

What I liked about the article is that it proposed some tips on how supply chain mangers could prepare better for disasters. This included, forecasting, being flexible, staying alert and having a plan. While the tips go into detail, I really had to sit and think can anyone really be prepared for a natural disaster?


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