Managing Your Supply Chain When Natural Disasters Hit

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When you turn on the news, chances are there will be a report of an extreme weather event. Natural disasters are becoming increasingly prevalent and can be problematic for both people and the businesses in its path.

When Mother Nature comes in full steam ahead, braced with a natural disaster-grade storm, it’s important to prepare. In business, one of the biggest factors affected by extreme weather events is the supply chain. If you are a supply chain provider, you need to be agile and ready to adapt when the unforeseen happens. In order to cope during these intense events, a supply chain provider needs to be prepared with both a proactive and responsive team, alongside the foundation of strong supplier relationships.

In order to keep the harrowing effects of a natural disaster at bay, learn how to manage your supply chain ahead of time to keep your business moving.

Know what’s in your warehouse

It’s imperative to know what inventory is available in your warehouse. With an online inventory management tool, you can track what supplies and stock you have available across multiple warehouses. The information is continuously updated so you can make a plan with real-time data. Online inventory management will allow you to assess if you have enough stock in your warehouse to make it if a supplier gets cut off by a weather event. Moreover, the online inventory management tool can help you place orders instantly so you can stock up before a big storm hits. This will allow you to keep operating as close to normal as possible.

Track weather events in advance

Be prepared by being informed. Keep an eye on weather patterns and have someone on staff who can interpret specific weather forecast data. They need to be able to extrapolate weather to postulate the best and worst situations. If weather can be tracked before the storm touches the ground, then it gives the company more time to react and make positive changes. You can send products earlier or in a different direction if it will help ensure its delivery, away from the path of disaster.

Real-time supply chain updates

Track the potential path of a natural disaster and see what areas could be affected. Make a list of all possible components affected from this event. Highlight any supply chain actions that might be in the destruction trail. For example, this could be warehouses, shipping routes, a variety of your suppliers, or trucks and shipping vessels. Keep an open line of communication with the members of your supply chain. If their warehouse looks like it will be prone to flooding from substantial rains, see if you can take some of their goods to your warehouse to preserve stock. This will build a strong working relationship and may come in handy down the track when your company needs a hand.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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