As far as we’re aware, no one can predict the future and natural disaster preventative technology doesn’t exist quite yet. So without any further ado, here are our recommended 4 steps to dealing with the effect of natural disasters on your supply chain.
- Get Organized Have a specific committee or team within your organization with detailed documentation and established guidelines dictating the supply chain emergency operations plan. This way your organization will be prepared to respond during these events and assess the level of supply chain disruption. If this isn’t an option for your organization, it may be a good time to consider a 3PL who is equipped to mitigate any disruption.
- Be Transparent Communication is the key to happiness. The last problem you need during a natural disaster is a lack of communication and uncertainty in your decisions and processes. This leads to even more chaos and can be avoided if the proper procedures are in place and messaging is prepared in advance. Your partners, suppliers, customers and internal staff will appreciate your openness and clarity.
- Embrace Agility Be willing to introduce some flexibility into your supply chain, because the need will arise where you need to reroute suppliers and make schedule changes. Consider building some redundancy in your network of suppliers so materials and other products needed are coming from different geographic areas. Implementing these contingencies could help keep your company productive and profitable.
- Be Proactive Some disasters we can see coming, some we can’t. Either way it’s important to be proactive in order to reduce the impact on your business and your customers. A few things to consider – Do you have alternative access to fuel? How would you handle an immediate shortage of drivers? Invest in a TMS that can help with rerouting freight in transit and shifting modes to ship inventory on hand.