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Yes, You Can Predict Supply-Chain Disasters

Is it possible to predict disaster? Depending on what kind of disaster you're thinking of, the answer can be yes. This article by Tom Linton and Thomas Choi explains how, in the case of weather related supply chain disruptions, there can certainly be the time to take actions to predict and mitigate supply chain disaster. Take for example Hurricane Sandy: it was established early what the path of the storm would be, and it was very possible (and was in fact noted and acted upon by many companies) to adjust supply chains for the storm itself. Supply chains are no longer in the dark about how natural disaster can affect them, and it seems as though we've entered a time where data is able to be analyzed and used in order to prepare for what would have been unstoppable in the past. Plans must be made for when typical transportation, warehousing, and manufacturing are affected, according to the article. Furthermore, creating a network that takes global weather information, social, political and economic events and puts out warnings and alerts to when possible disruption to supply chains is an outstanding way to predict possible trouble. The article goes on, expressing how supply chains must never be left as “good enough”: The resilience of supply chains should be continuously improved. Just as the auto industry continuously improves the safety of vehicles, all stakeholders in disruptions should work together to measure and continuously improve the resilience of supply chains. Although supply chains are faster today than 20 years ago, they aren't necessarily more resilient. That must change. Consumers need to have the same confidence in supply chains that they have in weather satellites and coordinated government responses to weather forecasts. The final point brought up is that companies shouldn't need to go it alone in this effort – government incentives to prepare for supply chain disasters can help motivate companies to invest and also cost less for the taxpayer when something does go wrong (as companies will be able to continually supply items that federal disaster relief may have needed to supply if the supply chain was to be broken).  

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid’s Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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