Natural disasters negatively impact on businesses, especially on supply chains, on the short as well as on the long run. The storm Sandy, which hit northeastern United States, is an example. It has caused delays in shipments of retail stores, since all the communications routes were stopped because for days during and after the storm.
Those delays are very important for most of the retailers since they will probably affect the coming holidays sales, the most profitable time of the year for many stores. The storm being located in a very populated and economically dynamic area, the greater the loss will be.
In October 2011, Thailand was flooded, causing hard drive shortage, decreasing sales and increases in price for customers, over several months.
Supply chain management is a complicated task, made even more difficult by random natural events such as those disasters. Since they can’t be anticipated, companies need to react fastly and efficiently to prevent sales from decreasing too much. They have to be able to catch up with the delays through improving logistics processes. They also have to communicate with their customers to avoid complaints and loss of deals.