Is the Weather Wreaking Havoc on Your Supply Chain?

Andrea Charles

The current wet weather in the UK is bad for business, unless of course you sell umbrellas. However, in the distribution of temperature controlled life drug products adverse weather events can be life-critical, as even minor disruptions to the supply chain can result in the degradation of life science products.

Dave Alberts, Director at Crimson & Co, commented on how recent ongoing adverse weather conditions and natural disasters on a global scale are affecting supply chains across a variety of industries. He said:

"Last year’s Tsunami in Japan wreaked havoc on businesses and supply chains alike, with widespread affects across the globe. Now the floods in Thailand have caused two-thirds of the country to be affected, initiating factories and supply chains to face disruption as the severe flooding impacts Thailand's economy. Companies such as Western Digital and Honda Motor have been forced to stop production in central Thailand due to disruptions to local supply chains and some Japanese car manufacturers such as Toyota and Nissan are also experiencing production disruptions. Sony temporarily closed its facility in Ayutthaya and Seagate Technology has also said its production of hard drives in this quarter will be effected by supply chain disruptions, and that supply will be constrained until at least Q4."
Global supply chain is now back on the agendas of corporate management as they try to maintain the integrity of the supply chain, reduce product loss and rising costs.

"Unfortunately, there is no way in which to fully prepare for such natural disasters as they are unexpected. However, the frequency at which these occur validate that contingency plans must be put in place wherever possible and organisations must attempt to protect product supply through efficient, planned out strategies and best practices. Research into the affects is a good start and companies participating in this are clearly at the forefront of successful and adaptive supply chains," said Alberts.

According to the MET office understanding the impact of severe weather events on your supply chain is a key element of maintaining and improving contingency planning and supply chain risk management. Are you ready?

5 steps to ensuring the pharmaceutical supply chain during a natural disaster:

  • Prioritising high-risk subpopulations and drugs that will be in high demand
  • Creating community-centric and catastrophe-specific formularies
  • Rapid deployment of essential medicines
  • Agreeing unique identifiers for supply chains in disaster planning
  • Creating a flexible and robust supply chain
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