Striking Benefits – When supply chains get disrupted.
It’s hard to believe that the Icelandic fishermen and the 2014 London Underground strikes have anything in common. But they do.
Both caused disruption to the supply chain.
Both forced the primary users to break routine.
London commuters faced a 2 day strike.
In the 48 hours of the tube strike commuters were forced to explore alternative routes to get to and from work.
Exploring different markets allowed them to reduce commuting times and costs.
They cut out inefficiencies in their lives that they were unaware of.
A proportion of these commuters never reverted to their pre-strike commuting routes.
The tube strike of February 2014 brought about lasting changes in behaviour, it lasted just 2 days ¹.
It forced a break in routine and allowed new habits and relationships to be formed.
And this is exactly what the Icelandic fishermen need to be careful of.
As the Icelandic strike enters its third month Grimsby fish buyers will develop new buying habits and new relationships with new suppliers.
The longer the strike the stronger the relationships formed.
Exploring the Faroese and Norwegian markets may, over time, result in a reduction of costs.
Because when we are forced to experiment we sometimes find more optimal resources.
Inefficiencies in operations which otherwise would have gone unnoticed become apparent.
Disrupting a supply chain is a dangerous game to play and could have long term consequences.
As Thomas Freidman says:
‘Supply chains cannot tolerate even 24 hours of disruption. So if you lose your place in the supply chain because of wild behaviour you could lose a lot. It would be like pouring cement down one of your oil wells.’ ²
Ref: ¹ http://users.ox.ac.uk/~econ0360/FerdinandRauch/Tube.pdf