In my opinion, The Lion King is arguably one of the best animated motion pictures (and Broadway plays) of all time. After many years of watching the Hamlet-based movie as a child and recently with my young niece, there are still life (and business) lessons to be learned. Whether it’s to be patient with a young cub (aka employee) or to believe in yourself when climbing the corporate ladder to your ultimate “destiny,” the Disney producers made a great point. But the most famous line of all from the coming-of-age tale sums it up for today’s business operations: “we are all connected…”
From the manufacturing facilities to transportation companies and the corporate headquarters, there are multiple personnel and industries working together for one common goal: profits. As more businesses outsource services and supply chain responsibilities, the need to stay connected during and protected from severe weather threats is top of mind. This is especially true now as we enter into a very busy hurricane season with the first named storm already on record.
As we have shared before, weather is the number one cause of all business disruptions (source: Forrester Research). When a severe weather event strikes, such as a hurricane, tornado or blizzard, that particular event ripples through all areas of a business’ normal operations both directly and indirectly. It can affect the stability of supply chains, the marketplace and even the economy.
For example, in 2012, an extreme drought affected the corn crop in the United States. Not only did it reduce the availability of corn in grocery stores across the country (even in locations not suffering from the drought) and raise consumer prices, the drought touched other industries, such as cattle feed and biofuels. (Source: ThomasNet.com)
Associate Professor Marcelo Olivares at Columbia Business School also released a study about weather’s impact on business productivity and supply chains. He studied the United States automotive industry and found that even one weather interruption can reduce productivity of a plant by 1.5 percent, which in turn affects other elements of the business and its dealers nationwide. According to the study, “when a plant’s production is disrupted, deliveries to dealerships are also likely to be delayed. With less variety available to customers, sales drop.” Now just because the dealer did not receive a direct impact from the severe weather event, does not mean they can ignore the weather threats happening at plants hundreds of miles away.
With that being said, companies of all shapes and sizes must pay attention to weather events both at home and at locations across the country that could potentially disrupt their supply chains. Now more than ever, an outsourced weather department or severe weather response plan are not an option, but are mandatory to keep businesses, their locations, and operations running at full speed.
Before you brush off that severe weather threat hundreds of miles away, remember, The Lion King was right: “we are all connected in the great circle of…weather.”