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Letters to a Young Manager

Cyclone Nargis, #529
LTYM > Crisis

Dear Sophie,
Sometimes having a strong demand and supply in your organization is not enough.

Cyclone Nargis was the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar. It happened during early May 2008. The total fatalities were 138,366. The highest wind speed was 134 mph. Total damage was estimated at $12.9 billion (2008 USD).

I was at the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth, working with a professor who taught supply chain. He wanted to use Google Earth to zoom in on the damage and movement of relief goods. We started by zooming into to the airport in Yangon, the capital. We saw hundreds of trucks loaded with supplies stopped on the main road to the southeast impact areas.

It was evident that the supply and demand were strong, but getting one to the other, the supply chain logistics, was lacking. In humanitarian relief as in commercial enterprise, supply chain is about getting the goods to point of need.
Sincerely yours,



Supply chain is about getting the goods to point of need

Discussion Questions:

1. Consider the logistics art of your disaster response plan? Do you have alternate means of moving supplies?
2. What are the limitations of Google Earth for checking supply routes?

For Further Reading:

See the Wikipedia article on the cyclone:

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