Round up Supply Chain Resources before the Storm

Safety & Environment, Supply Chain
September 13, 2013

Have partners, drivers and vehicles on standby


If we’re going to be smart about preparing your supply chain for an emergency, let’s go straight to the top for wisdom. It was Albert Einstein who said, “True genius isn’t in knowing the answer to all the questions, but knowing where to find the answers.” When it comes to preparing for a hurricane or other disaster, being ready isn’t about having every resource on hand. It’s knowing where to go to get the resources you need.

This means forging relationships with partners and suppliers, setting up PO processes and rounding up resources well before you need them. Here are three essential resources you should have standing by:

  1. Partners: like most supply chains, yours probably relies on third-party suppliers, business partners and service providers. These partners may provide you with raw materials, components, parts, IT services, transportation or third-party logistics services. In the event of a disaster, solid partnerships with supply chain partners can mean the difference between ramping up quickly and being out of commission. Work with your supply chain partners to plan, execute and monitor operations. Short on people, equipment or fuel? That’s where a supplier or partner can step in and help. To minimize risk, build relationships with multiple suppliers so you have layers of contingencies if one partner fails.
  2. Drivers: make sure you have enough drivers to meet your needs, whether your disaster preparedness plan moves trucks and drivers to the affected area or away from it. Forge relationships with other divisions/departments, recruit drivers from other areas of the country and make arrangements to fly them in and house them. If you don’t have the resources in-house consider engaging driver leasing companies or a dedicated fleet.
  3. Vehicles: do you have enough vehicles to swing into action once the storm is over? Being prepared means knowing how many vehicles you need to dispatch in an emergency and having equipment ready to roll at any given moment. The key is to make arrangements with other divisions or partners to line up assets ahead of time. Consider moving vehicles to different cities/locations surrounding the affected area. The right partner can often provide access to rental or lease fleets. Keep in mind, as we noted in a previous post, you may have to move fast to secure supplemental vehicles before FEMA arrives and requisitions all available equipment.

To learn more about preparing the resources you need before a storm hits, read our earlier post titled: “3 Ways to Prepare Your Equipment to be Ready to roll After a Storm.”

Stay tuned for the next post in our Disaster Preparedness Series on what every manager should know in preparing for a storm.


Written by Glenn Stept, Group Manager, Ryder Dedicated™

 Mr. Stept is a Group Manager with Ryder Dedicated™. Mr. Stept has over 25 years of experience in the supply chain and logistics industry. Throughout his time at Ryder, Mr. Stept has implemented, operated, and supported numerous supply chain operations for customers across a variety of industry segments.


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