The pandemic saw many companies and customers running out of essential supplies, and in many ways, it is still affecting supply chains and production. While you might not be as invested in corporate inventories as your own, you can take a few lessons from business owners and managers.
As a prepper, you never want to be at the will of business owners, inflation, or other issues that can drain your survival stockpile. Therefore, you need to find ways to protect your supply chain during a pandemic or natural or manmade disaster. It would be best if you looked at the six-step supply chain survival playbook of big businesses.
1. Build an Inventory
Regardless of the amount of work you put into designing the perfect individual supply chain, it will be susceptible to error and outside influence. Supply chains are dependent on numerous people and production lines, meaning any chain can fall victim to various issues. Therefore, the first thing you need to do to protect your supply is to build an inventory.
Your stockpile should include between three and six months of supplies, including paper, medical, and food goods. You will also need a supply of drinkable water or tools for cleaning and sterilizing it.
2. Conduct a Vulnerability Audit
Where do you buy your supplies from? Do you use a local grocery store, a friendly farmer, or do you depend on something else? Are any of these people, places, or sites vulnerable to supply loss; for example, how can outside actors or situations affect the logistics of local operations? Knowing the vulnerabilities of the people and places you depend on can help you prepare for future threats.
3. Locate Backup Suppliers of Essential Goods
It is best to find backup suppliers when it comes to essential goods — food, water, medicine, etc. Most likely, you have several grocers in your area. You likely also have access to multiple pharmacies. Creating a list with all the potential backup suppliers can help you avoid future issues should one of your trusted stores have empty shelves.
4. Diversify Your Supply Base
Businesses typically diversify their supply base, meaning they do not depend on one supplier for every piece of their inventory; doing so increases the odds of maintaining normal operations during emergencies. You can do the same thing; for example, finding multiple grocery stores with comparable prices can protect you against low inventory concerns. Essentially, you do not have to be a one-store, loyal shopper. Spread out your business.
5. Look for Outside Supply Options
While localization is key to keeping your inventory healthy, sometimes it pays to reach outside the local market. Many online businesses have fantastic savings opportunities for repeat customers. Suppose you sign up for repeat deliveries with manufacturers or businesses. In that case, it means your shopping needs are a priority, meaning when supplies are low, you often get the first dibs on products and merchandise because you are a consistent customer.
6. Create a Backup Plan for Your Backup Plan (Prepping 101)
As with any prepping strategy, you need to have a backup plan for your backup. Having a list of dependable local suppliers is an excellent first step, but it is not enough to keep you stocked during a pandemic or disaster. Build an inventory, and don’t be afraid to look for other local options, even looking beyond if necessary.
How would you protect your local supply chain? Leave a comment below.