Supply Chain Planning for Inclement Weather
The United States has seen some of the worst hurricanes on record in recent years. In 2017 alone, we saw Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria tear through Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. It wasn’t that long ago that Hurricane Sandy effectively shut down the northeast for weeks.
These high intensity storms are not anomalies. They are proof that disaster can strike at any minute and have devastating effects on businesses and supply chains. At Taylored Services, we are supply chain experts and wanted to share three ways you can prepare for the upcoming hurricane season to reduce the weather’s impact on your business and supply chain.
- Forward Logistics
By using forward logistics, you can anticipate the needs of your customers and stock up on larger quantities of certain items prior to hurricane season. Ordering over and above typical quantities will ensure a larger on-hand supply to continue to meet demand should a storm interfere with inventory making its way from the manufacturer to your warehouse. Additionally, if a storm is predicted to land near an area where your warehouse is located, inventory can be redirected to another location. This may increase transportation costs, but it keeps the inventory moving to its final destination.
- Proactive Notification
In the world of supply chain planning, proactive notification is the ability to get instant information about issues within the supply chain, such as inventory delays, spikes in volume, low supply, and dozens of other concerns. With this information in hand, you can contact customers, suppliers, and third-party logistics providers and explain what the issue is, why it’s happening, and how it’s being resolved.
The ability to reach out not only to customers, but to other services and government entities, like FEMA, in real-time can be invaluable during hurricanes and other bad weather events. It’s especially important when you have a surplus of a certain item that may be in short supply elsewhere. You want everyone to know you have items available for purchase. Half the battle in these high-pressure situations is knowing where to go for the answer, and with these notifications, the guess work is gone, and the answer is delivered directly to you.
- Direct Store Delivery
Direct store delivery (DSD) is especially effective in supply chain planning during hurricanes and other weather-related disasters because bypasses typical distribution. For example, if you know a storm is going to hit and a customer is will need a full truck of supplies like shovels, flashlights, or generators, you can place an order and immediately put the bill of sale to the end point. With DSD, the supplies will go directly from the manufacturer to the final destination. The cuts out the extra step of being delivered to the store first and then being rerouted.
The weather impact on business is unpredictable, but proper forecasting and smart supply chain planning can help keep your business running smoothly during severe weather events.
If you are concerned about the impacts of the upcoming hurricane season on your business or other risks to your supply chain, then contact Taylored Fulfillment Services to talk about solutions. We’re a fully integrated third-party logistics provider specializing in wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer unit fulfillment. Headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, we operate 1.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space strategically located near the nation’s busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York.