Eyjafjallajokull – procurement and supply chain risk erupts across Europe

Having just this week written about Dick Russill and his new book on procurement risk, we now have the most unexpected supply chain risk incident probably in my lifetime.  How many supply risk registers list 'volcano erupts, air transport closes down across Europe" ?  Not very many I suspect. And even fewer of us would have heard of Eyjafjallajokull....

Yet some supply chains, such as fresh fruit and vegetables into supermarkets,  are now getting seriously disrupted; as well as individuals unable to get home, sports people missing competitions, students who can't get back to university.  (We have friends stuck in a very nice hotel in Mauritius...could be worse I suppose!)

I remember doing my first ever risk assessment as a young manager.  It all seemed very fanciful; planes falling out of the sky onto our national office, wiping out the entire management team, the factory burning to the ground, a lunatic or extortioner poisoning our products.  How fanciful I thought; and how wrong I was.  I was even personally running (a different) factory when it burnt absolutely to the ground one night.

As well as the general disruption, this won't be doing much to help the weak economic recovery in Western Europe.  But it has at least knocked the election off the front pages, so every cloud (of volcanic ash) has a silver lining!

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