It was a cruel summer. Hurricane Harvey did a dangerous dance in Texas, and Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across the south and east coasts of the United States and beyond. California and British Columbia’s forest fires also need to be mentioned. That’s a lot of devastation in a few short months, but the truth is natural disasters are quite disruptive to the flow of people, goods, and services for many businesses.
But these natural disasters remind us that we need to be prepared. DHL estimated that the global impact of natural disasters could reach as much as $335 billion in 2030. With that in mind, ask yourself if your supply chain is safeguarded from natural disasters. If not, you can either enact the three-pronged internal process below or partner with a 3PL who has a wealth of knowledge and experience with supply chain management during natural disasters.
Formulate a contingency plan. Start thinking about your supply chain and if each natural disaster was to hit. What is the impact? Once you get a plan in place, make sure your suppliers and other partners are on board and have equally good, if not better contingency plans themselves.
The more advanced notice you have, the better you can react to supply chain risks when natural disasters like volcano eruptions or tornadoes hit. Analyze your past data to get a clearer picture of your risks and how you can avoid supply chain disruptions.
Be sure all your data is centralized across your company, and communication is open and collective; employees in all positions in the business have valuable insight into the process, so be sure to encourage collaboration. Additionally, run simulations to produce additional data in efforts to find a solution for minimizing supply chain impact. When you identify the real pressure centers, a solution should appear.
Create a Foundation
Now that you’ve looked ahead and computed the possible damage, run the numbers, and tested some viable solutions, it’s time to create a foundation of natural disaster protocols. Put processes in place that you have clearly defined and educate your staff on them. Be sure that your employees are ready to enact these protocols efficiently and safely.
Now, not every company has the labor, data, and time to construct an entire natural disaster plan. Maybe your company is younger, or it has never really been impacted by a disaster. For any one of these reasons, partnering with a 3PL may be the best choice for you. These services have an abundance of experience and knowledge that can help you stabilize your supply chain during a natural disaster. While no one wants to benefit from a natural disaster, companies with a strong supply chain often get opportunities to fill gaps that their competitors with weak supply chains can’t fill. This is especially critical for services that supply medicine and living essentials which are often restricted during a crisis.
Partnering with a 3PL is the best way to protect your supply chain when natural disasters strike. You can have peace of mind knowing that a qualified, experienced company like JIT is minding your business when the rest of the world gets a little chaotic. Contact us today.