• ITVI.USA
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    -5.440
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.007
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.070
    0.480
    2.2%
  • OTVI.USA
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    -10.170
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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  • ITVI.USA
    15,839.740
    -5.440
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.007
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.070
    0.480
    2.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,836.590
    -10.170
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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American Shipper

Expert: Well-trained employees key in recovering from supply chain ‘catastrophes’

Emergency preparedness might not be at the top of the list of priorities for typical supply chain organizations, but disasters are inevitable, according to Aram Sahakian, general manager of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department.

   If and when a disaster strikes – natural or otherwise – one of the more important things for companies in the supply chain to have is informed, trained and well-prepared employees, according to a municipal emergency department manager who studied the issue.
   Emergency preparedness is typically not something that’s at or near the top of the list of priorities for typical supply chain companies because there are other, more pressing concerns that take precedence.
   But Aram Sahakian, general manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Emergency Management Department, said during this year’s annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit at the University of Southern California that it’s not a matter of if, but when a man-made or natural disaster strikes.
   “We’re going to face it one day, unfortunately,” he said, while also remarking during a presentation titled “Post-Catastrophe Supply Chain Resilience” that most in the supply chain are not ready for the eventuality.
   “Research shows that we are not prepared for a disaster. We’re in a comfort zone, and business is as usual,” he said during his presentation. “But if you look at global warming, if you look at the natural disasters, the numbers are going up, and that’s the trend, and we need to take this seriously,” Sahakian said.
   “We need to hold hands, it’s a simple as that. We need to start planning together. It’s going to take funding and resources, but it’s also going to save lives, it going to ensure continuance of operations after major disasters.”
   And it boils down to employee preparedness, he said.
   “If your employees are not prepared, if their families at home are not prepared, guess what? They’re not coming to work. And if your truck driver is not at work, your goods are not being delivered,” he told the attendees. “You need to invest in your employees, you need to make sure that they meet specific performance measure so they have a peace of mind knowing their families, their kids at home are safe and they can be at work helping your operations.”
   “With supply chain, we want to start mitigating now,” he said. “From the federal government level all the way to the local level, we tend to spend money in the recovery phase without considering the cost-benefit ratio of one dollar to four, five, up to $10 if we mitigate.”
   Sahakian said that six types of goods and services are “very critical” and needed during post a disaster. In addition to transportation, they include grocery, pharmaceuticals, fuel, water and medical goods. They’re all interconnected, he said.
   “Fuel, we have local refineries, but I can guarantee you that they will be out of commission for two to three weeks (during a large-scale disaster). And the pipeline infrastructure that’s under our major highways is aging, it’s not where it’s supposed to be. So it’s extremely important that we have the capacity to bring in fuel. If don’t have fuel, the trucks are not moving and the trains are not moving.”
   The fifth annual supply chain summit, held Aug. 9-10 on the USC campus, attracted about 500 attendees, according to Sandesh Muraleedharan, president of the supply chain club at the university’s Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management.
   Most in attendance were industry experts, but there were also about 80 students from USC’s global supply chain program Master’s degree program mixed in.
   “They’re all in one group so that the students know what they’re supposed to be doing, and the industry knows where the talent is,” Muraleedharan said.

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