CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 11, 2017
Supply Chain Executive Insight E-Newsletter
Each week the Supply Chain Executive Insight e-newsletter will include brief articles about developments that are often overlooked by other supply chain publications. We will present you with summaries of the latest research as well as new ideas on how to make your supply chain operations more effective. And we'll offer commentary that sheds light on what's happening in supply chains today.
Sign up now!

Most Read Articles

News from our sister publication
DC Velocity
Forward Thinking

When catastrophe strikes, being "overprepared" pays off

Comment
A panel at CSCMP's 2012 Annual Global Conference explored the stresses on supply chains when disaster strikes, and how to prepare for them.

Thinking about the unthinkable can make you uncomfortable, but it's the only way to avoid failures in response efforts when disaster occurs.

That was one of the many pieces of advice that came out of a session titled "Catastrophic Events: The Ultimate Supply Chain Resiliency Test" at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' Annual Global Conference. Jock Menzies, president of the American Logistics Aid Network, led the discussion about the supply chain stresses inherent in disaster response and recovery.

At one point, David Kaufman, director of policy and program analysis at the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told the audience, "We have a self-interest in the nation's resilience in the face of catastrophic events." In truth, he went on, the top concern isn't really the catastrophic event itself, it's the domino effect that follows disasters and creates further consequences.

Some questions teed up by the panel that should give all of us pause:

  • In the absence of power, how do we deliver potable water, or any other essential services or commodities, through the "last tactical mile"?
  • Things cannot return to normal until the private sector restores operations. What, then, does the private sector need from the government to help it get up and running in the wake of a disaster?
  • Nobody likes to consider worst-case scenarios, but what happens if the "maximum of maximums" happens? How will you recover?
  • How can you leverage regional, national, or international size and scale to create effective local response?

Sandra G. Carson, vice president of enterprise risk management and compliance at Sysco, offered this advice: "You've got to be willing to take criticism for being overprepared, because there is no defense for being underprepared."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.


Want more articles like this? Sign up for a free subscription to Supply Chain Executive Insight, a monthly e-newsletter that provides insights and commentary on supply chain trends and developments. Click here to subscribe.

We Want to Hear From You! We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about this article by sending an e-mail to ?Subject=Letter to the Editor: Quarter : When catastrophe strikes, being "overprepared" pays off"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.