Digital Windshield: Safeguarding Supply Chains from Natural Disasters

Posted by Akshay Balachandran on Oct 31, 2018 12:15:09 PM
Akshay Balachandran
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The recent natural disaster that occurred in the United States, Hurricane Michael, left destruction throughout the state of Florida. Michael is one of the strongest hurricanes to hit, based on the wind speed and barometric pressure. The damage has been immense, both in terms of lives lost and infrastructure impairment. Some of the statistics (US) are as follows:

$8 billion worth in economic damage.

4000 homes destroyed or substantially suffered damage.

10% increased transit times during the storm’s presence.


Preparing for a natural disaster helps reduce the impact of disruptions caused in a supply chain. Using digital technology and creating an ecosystem, by using IoT devices, can help mitigate risks and provide a platform for speedy recovery. Business decisions, such as supplier risk assessment and  logistics networks, can be optimized by incorporating big-data analysis. Listed below are 4 vital aspects to consider while dealing with a possible disaster ahead.


Impact Quantification

Identifying and quantifying potential risk, running simulations and generating optimal mitigation plans for stores, factories, warehouses and trucking routes.

Inventory Management

Inventory Management

Building a digital framework of a supply chain and optimizing decisions based on big-data analysis to meet customer demand, while transferring existing inventory in the network to particular stores in disrupted regions.



Using automated systems, which analyze the data, and communicates to customers, regarding delays and supplier reduction in volumes. Analysis and automated replies can be programmed in the system in case of natural disasters.

business continuity

Business Continuity

Develop a systematic process to back up records to a digital cloud, and retrieve data post-disruption. Identify key members who will activate the plan and  deploy a crisis management team for inter-operability among business lines.


Using multiple variants of “digital," listed above, one can guarantee that the pre-disaster predictions are received well in advance. As a continuum, better damage control measures are conceived and implemented. By preserving every bit of intelligence related to a supply chain on a digital platform, the revival becomes smooth; similar to re-attaching a node to the system.


CGN Global is uniquely positioned to recognize and address issues when a supply chain network is disrupted. We use our diverse experience and broad knowledge in that domain to provide strategic insights, actionable recommendations, and focused execution to drive results. We identify challenges faced when a natural disaster comes to play and help organizations mitigate the damage, by quantifying the impact, well in advance, building robust communication channels, planning inventory shipments, and finally ensuring that business continuity is preserved immediately following the disaster.