There are many unforeseen events that can derail the supply chain. Extreme weather conditions and shifts in carrier capacity are two of the usual culprits. The industry typically has little time to implement contingency plans to keep shipments moving during sudden events. We all learned this lesson during the global pandemic.
But now that the El Niño climate pattern is here, uncertainty is even closer to home. Hotter than usual conditions are already wreaking havoc on crops in certain U.S. states, and causing mass bird deaths along Mexico’s Pacific coast. As El Niño takes hold and intensifies across a significant portion of the U.S. throughout the summer, there is still time to build agility and resilience within supply chains.
El Niño’s ripple effect on the supply chain will be felt at every level — from the bill of materials, all the way up to the boardroom. The key to navigating El Niño is recognizing past patterns, and taking proactive measures to protect operations. These four strategies can help the supply chain industry better adapt to the fallout of this unpredictable weather phenomenon.
1. Diversify supplier networks
If your company is tethered to one carrier or just a select few, El Niño will likely have a stronger impact on the ability to ensure a continuous flow of goods. Even if only one region is significantly affected, companies could experience challenges in getting essential raw materials needed for production and successfully delivering final products to their intended destinations.
By diversifying supplier networks, companies can create a safety net to protect against the disruptive effects of flooding, landslides, blizzards, and other weather events during El Niño this year. It is crucial to think strategically and explore carriers and 3PL partners outside of your normal channels. This approach infuses the supply chain with a new kind of resilience, ensuring it can withstand potential future disruptions.