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Supply chain risk and its implications continues to be an issue that is constantly overlooked. Yet, all it would take is one of several scenarios to occur to bring the supply chain and the economy to a standstill. The problem is that people tend to have short memories or would rather sweep things under the rug.

An incident at a major U.S. port would create an unimaginable supply chain disaster that could shut down the flow of goods for an indefinite amount of time. Think about it…no goods moving in or out of a major port would have a domino effect on other ports both domestically and internationally, not to mention regionally where ports are located.

Last year, the fear of rising fuel prices was washed away with lower prices by the end of 2008. The reality is that a major attack on foreign soil of major oil pipeline or field would cause oil prices to significantly escalate. This would impact all forms of transportation—trucking, ships, aerial transport—all at once.

Earlier this year, the Swine flu outbreak dominated headlines, and while the media has focused less on it, the virus continues to migrate. All it would take is for a few warehouse workers to get sick, and an entire facility could be hindered by limited resources and even a quarantine shutting down facilities. If you a supplier had to shut down immediately, I would guess that few businesses would have alternatives to step in right away to meet consumer demands.

These are just scenarios, but they demonstrate the need for supply chain planning and readiness. Whether it’s with a WMS, optimization product, or any type of supply chain solution, companies should be planning and preparing for the worse. If you aren’t, then you’ve already foregone any chance of success.

Supply Chain Digest

“Supply Chain Mega-Risks to Consider”
By Dan Gilmore
August 27, 2009
http://www.scdigest.com/assets/First...s/09-08-27.html

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