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Enabling Agile Supply Chain Management to Combat Natural Disasters: A Case Study of Biogen and Resilinc

11/09/2018 By

As procurement professionals know, natural disasters are a question of not “if” but “when.”

Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires or severe weather can quickly hobble even the best-laid supply chain plans, our sister site MetalMiner reports.

Just look at the research. According to Resilinc’s Supply Chain Disruption Annual Report, disruptions roughly doubled in 2017, potentially impacting 32% of S&P 500 companies’ supply chains. The supply chain risk monitoring firm’s CEO Bindiya Vakil pointed at that data as an indication that procurement leaders can no longer stay complacent about planning for events like natural disasters.

“This should be a wake-up call for business leaders around the globe,” Vakil said in the report. “2017 was a turbulent year for U.S. companies and their supply chains, causing a hidden drag that must be addressed. With 32% of S&P 500 companies potentially impacted, the economic damage is enormous.”

Yet heeding this wake-up call is only the first step to building a resilient supply chain. Deciding how to prepare and what an organization’s desired outcome will be is another matter entirely.

To help clarify that vision, MetalMiner Editor Fouad Egbaria recently explored a case study compiled by Resilinc with its client Biogen, a multinational biotechnology company.

Facing numerous potential disruptions from Hurricane Maria in 2017, Biogen used Resilinc to identify several suppliers that were likely to be hit by the storm, which raked the Caribbean and skirted the East Coast. Based on this analysis, the company decided to proactively move the materials to an assembly plant in Kentucky, ultimately preventing damage and ensuring timely delivery.

Biogen was able to do the same within minutes after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City in September 2017, as well as immediately communicate the safety status of on-site team members to management.

“Instead of everybody involved communicating bits and pieces of information by email and creating a confused picture, we had one source of the truth that managed the flow of information carefully and efficiently,” said Lee Spach, Biogen’s director of global product supply chain security, in the case study.

Can your company say it’s as ready for anything as Biogen is? To benchmark your readiness, check out the full article over at MetalMiner.