Heading off supply-chain disasters

broken road by an earthquake or landslideBetween fits of rage from Mother Nature and an Interstate system sagging under the pressure of millions of vehicles, supply chain disruptions are more likely than ever before. These events can be devastating to an emerging business.

Large national or multi-national firms have disaster plans at the ready for just such an event, but what about the family-run business? It’s wise to take a few days to run through various scenarios that could interrupt your company’s income stream.

Long-time San Francisco business owners know better than many other businesses what one seismic event can do to crush not just bricks and mortar, but a business owner’s┬ádreams. The region’s Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 disrupted supply chains for many of the Bay area’s businesses when the magnitude 6.9 heavily impacted transportation routes for months.

Have you considered what your business would do should your supply-chain be disrupted for a month? What if it were six months? Would your business even survive?

That’s why it’s a good idea to convene your top executives, or if you’re a small business, your inner circle, to conduct a brainstorming session. Consider your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Then whip out the calculator and factor in those once-in-a-blue-moon events that could bring your company’s productivity to a sudden, extended halt. It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering event. It could be an electrical fire, a flood or even a wildcat strike.

Address those areas of exposure that pose the biggest threat to the viability of your business. Don’t put it off, because no one knows what tomorrow may bring.

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