With all the unlikely and unsettling events, it can seem the deck is stacked against you.
Planning for the unexpected is tough. If you knew what to plan for, it wouldn’t be unexpected. But planning is essential to manage a supply chain, and to plan, you have to make assumptions, even though we all know “what it makes of you and me” when we assume.
But who would have assumed a summer hurricane would bypass Florida and tear up the Northeast, shutting down roads and doing its worst damage in Vermont? Who would have guessed an October snowstorm would do worse damage still, leaving millions without power, including 100,000 in Connecticut alone still dark (and chilly) a week afterward? There was even an earthquake in the nation’s capital.
We know that a La Niña climate event is predicted for this winter, but we don’t know what affects it will have. We know “Occupy Wall Street”-type protests have spilled over to temporarily shutting down the port of Oakland. The US Mail teeters on bankruptcy, and Canada Post workers have already gone out on strike.
Thinking ahead, running “what if” scenarios, and building your supply chain to handle “just in case” as well as “just in time” can pay dividends in ways you would never, ahem, assume. Deal yourself the strongest hand you can.