Whether you believe in climate change or not, be it human induced or part of the natural earth cycle, we cannot deny that extreme weather continues to dominate the global landscape.
Insurance firm Zurich published research showing that 64 per cent of UK businesses have suffered supply chain disruptions due to extreme weather conditions. According to a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) report, 93 per cent of managers suffered disruptions in their organisation as a result of last winter’s harsh weather.
In January of this year, the US also saw output fall by 0.8 per cent in some parts of the country due to severe weather. It was the largest decline to occur in over four years. In the Shetlands, a fish farm lost over 150,000 salmon due to severe winds and seas. What remained had to be relocated while a monetary value of losses and cost of repairs has yet to be finalised.
The graph above illustrates some of the main causes for supply chain disruption. Businesses need to start assessing their risks and vulnerabilities, ensuring that they have simple contingency and continuity plans in place. They need to be prepared for, and not just reacting to, extreme weather conditions. It does not have to be a lengthy or costly process to ensure vigilance; simply asking “what if”, with regards to adverse weather and how it may affect your business operations, can make the difference. Here are 4 points to help any business prepare and plan for future extreme weather conditions:
1. Assess the risks and act accordingly
2. Review your own, and your suppliers’, financial and physical supply chain issues and adapt your business’ continuity strategy accordingly
3. Ensure you have a plan B
4. Share resources and concerns with your local government and business community.