When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in late October, businesses had to deal with serious supply chain disruptions that caused major problems for companies, consumers and corporate profits. Excessive flooding and damage made it nearly impossible for companies to receive shipments, run their production operations or send their merchandise to market. Some businesses lost merchandise in the storm, requiring them to reorder products and raw materials and put a hold on any logistical operations that carried goods to retailers and consumers.
Even though nearly three months passed since the storm, businesses are still trying to repair the damage done to their supply chains during Hurricane Sandy.
The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) has been working to help individuals, businesses and groups get the assistance they need to move forward and rebuild, but progress has been slow, according to reports. Bureaucratic procedures and slow progress on government funding have prevented those hit hardest from being able to recover their storm-related losses and move forward to conduct business as usual.
The importance of supply chain management
Some companies take great pains to ensure their procurement, production and logistical operations are well managed and cost effective. However, even scrutinized supply chains can be put at risk in the event of a natural disaster, raw material shortage or political unrest.
Companies that take the time to implement strategic sourcing strategies may find these initiatives prove to be extremely beneficial in both their cost savings potential and ability to allow a business to avoid procurement problems in the event of a large storm. Firms that fail to take the initiative to ensure they will be able to purchase essential raw materials or components may find themselves in an unfortunate position should a disaster occur.
Similarly, companies with shorter and more flexible logistical operations may also see a benefit to their supply chains in the event of an emergency. When a business has plans that allow it to use rail, ocean and air shipping, it saves itself the hassle of trying to find a last minute transportation provider, which can be difficult and expensive.
Keeping a supply chain short and as simple as possible may also prove to be a smart strategy for business owners seeking to avoid disastrous disruptions in the future. Optimization of these short and efficient supply chains can keep a business from struggling after an event such as Hurricane Sandy.