« Business Continuity

Supply chain interruptions can be just as devastating as a hurricane

Supply chain interruptions can be just as devastating as a hurricane
Supply chain interruptions can be just as devastating as a hurricane

Business continuity relies on not the lack of interruptions in service, but rather the ability to swiftly and effectively resume operations following a disaster or other crisis. While avoiding a crisis is ideal, accidents happen and natural disasters are often unavoidable. However, much like a hurricane or tornado, man-made problems can have a devastating effect on a business continuity plan.

One issue that businesses should always prepare for is an interruption to their supply chain. Adapting a continuity of operations plan to take cessation of critical resources into account can be tricky, as often businesses won't be able to continue operations should key components of manufacturing, or even basic office supplies, suddenly be unavailable. However, there are several ways to adapt for such incidents.

The primary flaw in supply chain continuity is a natural disaster occurring where the supplier is located, rather than the business implementing a business recovery strategy. Finding a fast and reliable alternative vendor can be one way to get the supply chain temporarily resumed while primary suppliers recover from their own problems.

Another issue firms need to prepare for is incidents involving shipping. Should a primary shipping provider go on strike, or a natural disaster occur on the path of shipments, firms need to be able to maintain operational integrity until the problem is resolved. Having a stockpile of critical resources can help, as can the previously mentioned strategy of having a secondary vendor on call.

In order to implement these plans and integrate them with current disaster recovery planning, businesses will need to consider every potential outcome of a crisis, not just in their own backyard, but all along shipping routes and where their supply vendors are located. Keeping all of this information in mind will promote stronger, more resilient continuity strategies.