July 14, 2015

Update: The Potential Impact of El Niño on Industry Supply Chains

Charlotte Hicks

In January, Resilinc reported on the potential El Niño and its impacts on the global supply chain. In the last few months, we’ve started to see weather reports, possibly El Niño related events, that can have significant impacts to industry supply chains such as electronics and life sciences. As you will see, impacts in one industry can impact industries not typically viewed as related or interdependent. Below is an analysis of potential supply chain impacts to electronics, automotive, and life sciences industries, as well as upstream mining and agriculture industries.

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May 15, 2015

Proactive Supply Chain Risk Mitigation: The Brazil Drought & Impact

Charlotte Hicks

Recently, Resilinc has been closely monitoring reports concerning Brazil’s severe drought. As we enter an El Niño in 2015, Brazil can expect drier weather for the next few months further exasperating the situation. While droughts may be a primary concern to farmers, there are also downstream impacts to the global supply chain in terms of water supplies, power supplies, and raw materials that could impact product customers.

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January 23, 2015

El Niño Impacts on the Supply Chain and Supply Chain Resilience

Charlotte Hicks

El Nino Drought - ResilincIf you are like me, you’ve noticed that this winter seems to be atypical.  For example in North Carolina, it’s January, and I just turned on my air conditioner. Winter just isn’t happening this year in my area. Is this a possible sign of an El Niño?

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December 12, 2014

Cold Weather Supply Chain Risks

Charlotte Hicks

Watching the news recently, I heard the weatherman say that the first major blizzard of the season dumped a year’s worth of snow on the Buffalo area alone. Then, the Thanksgiving nor’easter brought a sloppy mess of rain and snow to several parts of the U.S.

Images of the supply chain disruptions from last February and March popped to mind. During that "Snowmageddon," icy roads and damaged railways caused transportation delays, and we saw shortages for some materials that double as deicers.

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November 14, 2014

Two Keys to Gaining End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility

Charlotte Hicks

Pharmaceutical supply chainRecently, while reviewing Zurich’s Supply Chain Resiliency 2014 report, I came across an interesting statistic: 51% of respondents report having a disruption below a tier 1 supplier, however only 27% of the respondents monitor below tier 1. I began to wonder, if there is a significant probability that a company will have a disruption in the sub-tiers, why aren’t more companies taking proactive steps to monitor the sub-tiers? Then I thought about my own experiences as a risk mitigation manager in the chemical and raw material supply chain and the challenges I had monitoring the sub-tiers. It really came down to two factors: supplier trust and supply chain manager time.

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October 09, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Poses Supply Chain Risks with Some Commodities

Charlotte Hicks

The current Ebola outbreak is becoming more than just a worldwide emergency health issue. It is becoming a supply chain concern. While our thoughts are with those impacted by the awful disease, the potential supply chain risk is also creeping into the minds of business leaders.  

Resilinc’s monitoring shows some signs of a ripple effect on supply chain sourcing, pricing and availability of key raw materials. These events, indicated by an increasing number of news reports, raise flags about the impact the disease has on mining activities (particularly with alumina, iron ore and gold), palm oil and palm kernel oil supplies, and potential crude oil disruptions.

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September 03, 2014

Supply Chain Resiliency Case Study: Was the Napa Earthquake a "Wake-Up" Event, or Did You Sleep In?

Charlotte Hicks

On Aug. 24 at 3:20 a.m. Pacific Time, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook Northern California, injuring many people, damaging buildings and knocking out power and water services around Napa.

Though the Bay Area region is prone to this kind of natural phenomenon, it’s been a while since locals felt something this significant. The last major earthquake in the Bay Area was the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Luckily, too, in comparison to other past tremors, the Napa earthquake was moderate.

But, still, it was an event that could have quickly turned in a wide-scale disruption. More importantly, it reveals how vulnerable supply chains are when Mother Nature is involved and how quickly you have to spring into action to get the situation under control. It is the perfect example of a supply chain resiliency case study.

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