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Darrell Edwards, SVP & Chief Supply Chain Officer, La-Z-Boy Incorporated [NYSE:LZB]
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Scott McDevitt, President & CEO, Translogistics
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Richard Sherman, Senior Fellow, Supply Chain Centre of Excellence, TCS [NSE:TCS.NS]
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How Digitization can Help to Make an Efficient Supply-Chain Management During Natural Disasters
An enormous increase in greenhouse gas emissions has led to a significant surge in the number of natural disasters, which has devastated communities around the world. From the deadly tsunami, which was an after effect of an earthquake, to multiple hurricanes in South America, to the California wildfires, the disasters have been able to wreak havoc on our society.
Natural disasters have become a commonplace as the number of disasters has risen steeply, and according to a UN report, natural disasters will keep increasing in number and regularity unless efforts are taken to keep a check on harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts are being undertaken by many governments to combat climate change as 194 nations have committed to implementing the Paris agreement. The countries involved in the agreement have started taking initiatives to accelerate their greenhouse gas reduction process.
In addition to the human life, supply-chains are the worst affected sector by natural calamities as they result in cancellation of flights, closure or ports, and shutting down of highways. These disruptions cause a late delivery of raw materials, consumer goods, and other business components. For example, calamities like Tohoku and tsunami resulted in a loss of 210 billion dollars to Japan government. With a significant loss in infrastructure companies like Toyota, Nissan, and GM closed their factories in Japan temporarily. In another example, supply-chain of Puerto Rico’s two of the most important industries, pharmaceuticals and medical devices came to a standstill, as the island nation was hit severely by the hurricane Maria.
In this fast-paced world, enterprises need to be proactive rather than being reactive. Digitizing the supply-chain management processes can enable the companies to identify a potential risk before they could cause havoc. A supply-chain management platform that monitors multiple data sources in real time, including weather reports, traffic congestion, port closures, and any other disruptions can alert the users before it affects their business. It will also help the companies to mitigate any potential damage. The platform can also help the companies to be pre-informed about any transport strikes, economic upheaval, infrastructure damage, or any other untoward condition that can disrupt the supply-chain.