As manufacturers seek to source quality goods at the lowest cost, supply chains that were once confined to a single country or continent have stretched around the world. Managers have become adept at addressing recurrent risks—frequent, low-impact incidents such as demand fluctuations or supply delays that affect efficiency. However, they have devoted less energy to designing supply chains that prevent or mitigate the impact of disruptive risks such as labor strikes, political unrest, regulatory shifts, and natural disasters. These events can have severe and lasting repercussions on operations, so manufacturers would do well to devise strategies that alleviate this risk.
Whereas business interruption insurance covers lost profits and continuing expenses as a result of physical damage to a policyholder's own facilities, contingent business interruption insurance covers such losses stemming from damage to the premises of a supplier or customer. Large companies typically have both types of insurance as part of their property insurance policies; smaller companies may not have the contingent business interruption extension.
Doing business in other countries means working within the cultural context. Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, which started Feb. 10, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.