Your supply chain vs. the volcano

by Robert Croce

April 20, 2010


By Bob Croce, Insider Learning Network

For those attempting to travel to our SAPinsider conferences in Milano this week, you know first hand how difficult that Icelandic volcano with the too-many vowels in its name, made it to get there.

This prompted Richard Howells,Senior Director of  SCM Solution Marketing at SAP, and our SCM keynote speaker in Milano, to think about how such a natural disaster might not only affect the "human supply chain," but how it can affect the global supply chain as a whole.

"There's no question that the nature of our global networks mean that such unpredictable events can affect all of us directly or indirectly, and require us to have more visibility into events as and when (or even before) they happen, " wrote Howells on the SAP website, after having his flight canceled at Boston's Logan International Airport."Having the tools and processes to collaborate with suppliers, shippers, partners, and customers to re-plan around these disruptions is critical."

Richard went on to say that this no fly zone over Europe meant no air freight, and was sure to cause a logistics bottleneck. Of cours e, a volcano erupting isn't exactly a common natural disaster. But what would a major earthquake, hurricane, or flood do to your network?

How prepared are you? Please let us know if the comments section? Or, if you have an experience when it comes to overcoming disruptions in your supply chain due to natural disasters, maybe there are some lessons learned that you can share with our vast Insider Learning Network audience.

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