Brief

Warehouse resilience requires active flood risk preparation

Dive Brief:

  • Concerned over potential flooding in Garden City, ID, one landlord in the Warehouse District has invested over $10,000 to build up her facility's resilience. 
  • The problem, according to Idahonews.com, is that the Warehouse District is situated alongside the Boise River, which has been consistently rising, IdahoNews.com reports. 
  • Distrustful of flood risk projections, the landlord has built a water-tight cement wall alongside the warehouse, supplied tenants with sandbags and advised them to raise storage height of valuables.

Dive Insight:

Warehouses are a crucial link in the supply chain, and the loss of product inside it — regardless of the reason — can lead to significant delays and costs for even insured tenants, and much worse for landlords. The key to surviving a loss is building up resilience.

The first step is risk mitigation, which for storage facilities in flood-prone zones include the tactics outlined above. Yet, risk management is not enough to ensure supply chain resilience: stakeholders must have plans in place in the case active strategies fail to mitigate risk. 

That's where supply chain agility comes in, or the ability to adapt operations as quickly and thoroughly as possible. When Gap, for example, lost its warehouse last year the company quickly opened a pop-up warehouse not far and modified routes to ensure stores would continue to receive what product was possible. Further, with the holiday season soon approaching, the Gap also retained its warehouse workers, knowing they'd be needed within weeks.

However, any fire or inventory disruption event serves as a reminder that sometimes, it pays to not put all your eggs in one basket — whether it be a supplier, 3PL, or even a buyer. Resilience is a long-term strategy, rather than immediate action; fortunately, every risk mitigation action helps strengthen the chain.

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Filed Under: Operations
Top image credit: Julian Colton