Having an emergency alert system is vital for supply chain visibility and success. The right approach and the right data can make all the difference.
Whether it’s adverse weather and natural threats, health and social disruption, or political and economic factors, you can’t proactively respond to an emergency unless you can see it coming. The right technology and data can help by keeping you updated with real-time alerts so you can plan for short- and long-term impact. So what technology and data are best for your business? Here are the top five features you need:
1. Knowledge of and data about your industry
Each industry has its own nuances, and what might constitute an emergency for one industry might be just a blip on the radar for another. Your technology solution should be established in your industry and help you understand how events around the globe will affect your business.
2. Access to real-time data
Emergency alerts are only as good as the data that informs them – so your technology should have access to timely intelligence and to data coming in from a variety of sources. This can give you an early warning and a more complete picture of the situation.
3. Elements to map your entire supply chain
Mapping your supply chain is a critical function in any technology, because it looks for downstream supplier overlaps. For example, if your supplier’s entire base is in a single country, the technology should identify critical points and flag nodes where disruptions might arise. You might not know if your second-, third-, or fourth-degree suppliers are all in an area highly affected by unrest or weather. The right data can help map those connections, too, before issues arise.
4. A structured approach to monitor the market
Knowing what’s coming is one thing – making sure that knowledge is delivered in a meaningful way is another. Does your technology offer alerts to keep you informed about what’s happening – or what could happen – in the market? And is that information provided in a digestible, easily understood format? Do you know what to do with it? Can you summarize, analyze, and act?
5. The ability to interface with your internal systems
Whatever emergency alert technology you put in place needs to communicate with your organization’s enterprise resource planning system and other key systems. Having multiple disparate systems that can’t communicate isn’t a good business strategy in any situation. Before you make your technology investment, you should make sure it aligns with your overall business strategy and enterprise system.