Supply chain disruptions should never elicit a laugh, however. There's nothing peaceful when protestors light fires in the middle of streets. Nor is there when other protesters, "many of them men wearing black, some covering their faces with bandanas and some carrying wooden sticks, smashed windows of a Wells Fargo bank branch while chanting 'Banks got bailed out...We got sold out,'" take similar violent actions. Without question, procurement organizations should begin to factor in localized protests into their risk planning efforts, especially when such protests begin to impact logistical infrastructure.
In addition, labor unrest and protests, especially when it can be isolated to certain cities with greater activity than others, should be a warning sign about potential future disruptions in the area. Perhaps the best defense in this situation is a good supply risk audience. And here we would argue that companies should take a geospatial approach to mapping their supply chain activities and supplier facilities against the location of protests, unrest and the like. Any trends that begin to appear in high activity areas -- or potential bottlenecks -- should be a warning flag that contingency planning efforts should move into high gear. We recommend companies take advantage of a combination of supply risk management software with feeds from sources like the AP, Thompson Reuters, Lexis-Nexis and other sources. More advanced organizations may factor in additional unstructured data sources from Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook and the like in their real-time analyses and planning efforts.