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The eruption of EyjafjallajÃƒÂ¶kull (pronounced ay-yah-FYAH-plah-yer-kuh-duhl, according to the Associated Press) is causing supply chain realities that will fill the press for weeks. They will become the new stories for the supply chain risk management textbooks.
While most SCM plans focus on management through periods of volatility, there is very little writing on navigating a supply chain through a period of surprise. Supply chain risk in a period of surprise is VERY different than management of the supply chain through volatility.
Unlike a hurricane, there was no early warning system, no pre-planned drills, or carefully crafted procedures. The reason? Who would ever have thought that an Iceland volcano would have such a profound affect?
When a surprise happens, the need for the immediacy of data increases. In this case, I found that twitter was my NEW best friend. This was my Eureka moment.
As a supply chain risk manager, the first step that I would take in planning for a surprise is to be sure that EVERYONE understands the power of twitter.
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