Ebola is a disease that presents as a hemorrhagic fever. These are not exactly comforting words, as those afflicted bleed profusely (from the inside) and up to 90 percent of those afflicted die, depending on the breakout and treatment. Scary, for sure. But Ebola is not just a virulent killer of people – it is also, potentially, a killer of supply chains.
Let’s move on to procurement issues and see what can be done. First of all, as a starting point there are actually many similarities between Ebola to geopolitical supply chain issues (e.g. extreme kidnapping risks in many areas of Mexico, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Somalia, and other places). But an illness migrates more easily than crime does, and with an incubation period as long as 21 days travellers returning from hot areas have a lot of time to have physical contact with others. Since it is impossible to track all individuals, it seems most prudent to add this to the list of factors (political, natural disasters, geological events, legal, financial, bankruptcies, corruption, crime, violence) that are part of better risk management solutions. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, VP of Research Thomas Kase looks at how this can be done with an approach based on the solution available from Riskmethods, a Munich-based company.