Why Companies Should Become Involved in the “Humanitarian” Supply Chain
Private companies and relief organizations need one another, according to Supply Chain Quarterly. Relief organizations are slowly becoming aware that, by partnering with companies, they can increase the efficiency of their supply chains, helping to deliver aid to those in need rapidly and effectively. When companies invest in humanitarian supply chains—or, in other words, when they incorporate relief efforts within their broader supply chain efforts—they can boost their public image, achieve good on a wide scale, and also positively impact their bottom line.
When companies contribute to humanitarian relief efforts by donating supplies, initiating emergency response plans on a regional basis, or by boosting transportation infrastructures by donating delivery vehicles, companies improve the resiliency of not only relief efforts but also of the businesses that might be directly affected by their efforts. Kathy Fulton, the executive director of the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), noted that when disasters strike, “it’s the company’s employees and markets that are disrupted.”
By helping local relief efforts, these companies positively impact their employees, along with the communities where their employees reside. In fact, when natural disasters occur, local infrastructure can fall apart completely, and government relief agencies sometimes struggle to deliver aid. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, for example, FEMA was unable to rapidly transport aid and supplies to dozens of communities in need in Louisiana. However, Wal-Mart stepped in, using its existing transportation infrastructure to establish a humanitarian supply chain to quickly deliver products to its businesses locations as well as aid to communities that FEMA was unable to assist.
Wal-Mart’s efforts during Hurricane Katrina serve as a perfect example as to why investing in a humanitarian supply chain is critical. Helping those communities affected by the hurricane not only boosted the company’s image, but it also helped to generate critical support for the company among those afflicted communities. Good360 believes in the importance of establishing humanitarian supply chains. That’s why we partnered with UPS and other top companies to help improve our domestic disaster response. Learn more about Good360’s disaster response efforts—as well as our cutting-edge Disaster Recovery 360 platform—here.