According to NOAA, The Weather Company and other expert sources, the 2020 hurricane season is shaping up to break more records before it’s over on November 30. For supply chain managers who are understandably preoccupied with the disruptions arising from COVID-19, it’s important to carve out time to identify the hurricane-related risks in your supply chain and develop resilience strategies—if not for this season, then for the 2021 season and those that follow.
Most supply chain pros will remember 2017’s trio of destructive hurricanes: Harvey, Irma and Maria. These three storms caused more than $200 billion in damages; and Maria disrupted life science and pharma supply chains for months after it devastated Puerto Rico, a major supply hub for that industry.
Companies that were prepared with a thorough map of their supply chain, including sub-tiers, and real-time monitoring of Hurricane Maria’s progress across the Atlantic were able to respond quickly and intelligently. One Resilinc customer in the pharma/biotech space quickly identified more than 25 parts and materials at risk from two Puerto Rican suppliers. The firm responded with several million dollars in forward purchases that allowed it to avoid the shortages that plagued other firms in that space.
Since then, Resilinc has refined its artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics capabilities to enable our customers to prepare for hurricane-caused disruptions with greater efficiency and precision than ever.
With supply chain AI, instead of simply ordering safety stock ahead of hurricanes because you’re worried about supply disruptions in Puerto Rico or elsewhere, AI technology can tell you—based on your suppliers’ sites and logistics, the historic impacts of hurricanes in different regions and other data—how to adjust your safety stock intelligently to cover the most plausible scenarios.
This can result in lower inventory, more cost savings, better investment returns and even a healthier balance sheet that will support enhanced market valuation for your company.
Like death and taxes, hurricanes will always be with us, and given this reality, it’s surprising how many companies plan for hurricanes in an intuitive manner that doesn’t take advantage of predictive analytics and ultimately wastes money on excess safety stock.