Zika and the Supply Chain

According to an article in Spend Matters, the Zika virus can have a cost to businesses beyond that of human life. “The threat which public health scares and disease outbreaks pose specifically for businesses is a labor disruption. Not only could a virus sicken a workforce, but people in affected areas can become fearful of contracting the disease and avoid places, like work,” says the article.

Rob Cheng, head of growth at supply chain management software company Elementum, told Spend Matters that “If you are trying to manage business risk, you cannot ignore anything that can significantly disrupt operations.”

Cheng recommends having up-to-date information about possible risks to the supply chain, communicating it effectively, and having a disaster/mitigation plan in place.

This planning can help reduce what can be a long back to work period and disruption to business. “Sometimes it isn’t until two or three weeks after an event that a company truly understands the impact to their supply chain. The goal should be to shrink that window and understand the full impact of a labor disruption, allowing the company to react quicker,” said the article.