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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

War! What's it good for? Not exactly absolutely nothing

There is an impact of war on industry and ability to deliver material goods in the supply chain. Geopolitical instability was the #2 ranked risk trend of 2022. It came about really from Russia invading Ukraine and the immediate impact it had on the energy supply to Europe and the US. It has impacts on the supply chain other than just energy.

The brand new terminal for Newark Airport had to delay its opening as a result of the war. The design called for a lot of glass. That contract went to glassmakers in the Ukraine. Glass makers called away to fight the war were unable to work.

War is fought by real people who in some places, have other day jobs that create materials you need.

The book "Wine and War" is a great book overall, but it tells a story - in part - about how war impacted an entire industry and cultural identity. The French wine industry suffered greatly after WWI. The men who tended the vineyards were all of fighting age. Many of them were killed and as a result were unable to tend to the vineyards. The grapes and the wine produced at that time were of terrible quality.

This is an example of how an entire industry suffered greatly and a proud culture threatened as a result of the loss of skill when the skilled were sent to fight.

What the French did to save the wine industry during WWII is very impressive...If an entire country can do it under dire straits, what do you think is possible for your company? A lot!

Benefits from war impacting the supply chain can emerge for some suppliers. The 2nd-leading producer getting the spoils is one.

India was 2nd behind Ukraine for grain sales. The war increased the demand to India as a result. A good idea would be to locate the 2d and 3d leading source of the product you need and then research how viable an option that is for you.

A restaurant linen company in Texas did just that when the supply chain issues from the pandemic caused deliveries to be delayed and costs to increase on their materials from China. They went across the border to Mexico. They had to find a like quality product and a place that could handle the demand

However, you might have a different set of principles that guide your decisions. India may not be the country you want to go to for grain for ethical reasons - not to avoid the bad, but rather to avoid becoming part of a problem. Why would ethics come into play? India has a food scarcity problem and limited the contracts the government would allow to external buyers to make sure the domestic market had enough. Then there are other would-be customers in line - some of them with food scarcity of their own for which India is an intended solution.

Take a look at where you are ordering your supplies from. Look and see if there is any tension in the area. If there is, have a backup supplier just in case. When considering your options, also ask:

What will you do?

What factors will you consider?

Do you have ethics guiding your decisions?

Secure. Survive. Thrive.

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