Logistics industry fit to fight flu pandemic

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A recent survey from The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT) has shown that in 2009, 68% of major logistics and supply chain operations have specific plans in place for dealing with the possibility of a flu pandemic as part of their overall disaster recovery strategy. 

This compares with a figure of 43% in 2008.  And, of those companies operating specific flu plans, almost two thirds (63%) include counter measures such as face masks, gloves and anti-virals in addition to the use of schedule reorganisations, overtime, agency staff and other arrangements. 

The annual benchmarking survey forms part of CILTs Logmark Group which enjoys membership from many blue chip FTSE 100 companies including some of the worlds biggest employers.  Logmark provides member organisations with key measurable data on specific business functions including operations, inventory, HR, health and safety, environmental policy and risk management. 

But advance planning for a major health crisis is a relatively new supply chain management strategy and is clearly a key issue for companies responsible for the distribution and delivery of essential goods and services.  Steve Agg, Chief Executive of CILT said, Crossing fingers and hoping for the best is not a viable operational strategy and the Logmark survey has shown that the UK logistics industry is well prepared to deal with any major staff shortage coming as the result of a flu pandemic.

Not only are agile organisational plans in place, but the increase in the number of those companies actually operating preventative and counter measures from previous years is welcome and impressive.  Hopefully, the implementation of such plans will not be required.  But, in the event of a major flu outbreak, the logistics industry and supply chain professionals are in good shape to cope.  

Participation in Logmark enables logistics operators to confidentially and anonymously measure their internal supply chain performance against other organisations.  The data is analysed and co-operatively shared and compared to ensure even greater efficiency for all stakeholders.  Members of the Group also identify best practice and discuss business improvements and arrange networking opportunities and site visits.

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