I just walked outside to a sauna – it is about 95 degrees in Boston today and much of the country is in the middle of a severe heat wave. Just about five months ago, we were buried in a record setting snowfall with about ten feet of snow, mostly during one month - February!
Pictured Above: Hurricane Hilda over the Pacific Ocean from www.nasa.gov
Heat waves, record snow, tsunamis, tornados, hurricane. Manufacturers and software companies are impacted in a number of ways by severe weather.
A few years back I visited a customer in Kansas with a below ground shelter capable of taking a direct hit from a category 5 tornado. The CEO explained how his customers demanded this protection for their repair shop so that the customer’s inventory being repaired by his shop would be protected. Around that time we had another customer delay their ERP implementation because of the tsunami in Japan and priorities of their parent company located there. Many of our customers had delays in production because their suppliers were shutdown in Japan due to the same tsunami.
Manufacturers are growing more sophisticated. Measuring suppliers not only on speed and price, but also on ability to withstand a disaster. Alternate supply lines, cloud operations, underground shelters are all becoming standard operation. We see this trend continuing to spiral upwards and metrics for trading partners include severe weather shutdown fall back plans.
The Internet has opened up doors. And manufacturers are beginning to realize the importance of weather events, not simply in their office locations but in the field. Are you starting to look at disaster recovery plans and high risk locations for your suppliers? Let us know! And we have started considering such things in our Vendor performance reporting. We are not in Kansas anymore…but nowadays we need to consider who is.