The Importance of Critical Event Management for Manufacturers and Supply Chains


Natural disasters like earthquakes and extreme weather events are obvious critical events. With the global pandemic, Critical Event Management (CEM) has been key to saving lives by supporting the logistics needed for personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccination deployments. Ensuring the safety of people, places and organizations was also a major concern for first responders during the freezing cold shocks that swept through the United States last winter, particularly in Texas, which suffered power outages. current due to transmission line failure due to large temperature drops.

However, CEM encompasses more than fire, flood and snow. From civil insurgency and major traffic accidents, arson and tampering with public services, the importance of communication cannot be overstated in the face of threats. While the attack by hackers hoping to poison a Florida water treatment facility has been bypassed and tragic results averted, the attempt indicates a growing trend used to cause direct physical damage to people and organizations. And, the United States is now working to recover from two major ransomware attacks that shut down the Colonial pipeline, with huge impact on fuel and food supply chains and cascading impacts on logistics and businesses. price on organizations and consumers.

Taking a prevention-focused approach can help minimize risk. Having a unified communications system and strategy in place is essential for manufacturing companies to respond to and recover from a crisis when it occurs. CEM is also important for affected (but less associated) supply chain companies. For example, a manufacturer forced to close its doors because of a chemical explosion disrupting production, could fall behind in supplying the products its customers need. When these customers cannot meet their production demands, it negatively affects more businesses requiring their resources further in the supply chain.

Safety is a measure for manufacturing plants. Shutdowns affect revenue, and disruptions in one area can have a significant impact on supply chains. Preparing for critical events in advance helps organizations be ready to respond effectively, recover quickly, and continuously improve processes.

Event management

Being able to prepare for, plan for, and react to a serious event is essential for recovery.

Plan. The range of events that organizations face is inevitable. Improve operational resilience by assessing risks, communication patterns, and workflows to be prepared and ready to act before something happens.

To respond. Activating strategic communications to handle real incidents is essential to orchestrating rapid and effective responses. Secure, two-way communication can alleviate confusion and take into account the people and assets impacted.

To recover. Staying on top of events, increasing situational awareness, and establishing steps to resolve incidents helps in rapid recovery from interrupted processes.

Doing all of this from a single window, on the same system, is an effective CEM solution.

100% responsibility

When people go missing during a crisis, CEM solutions can offer the ability to track people and send secure notifications through an established platform. With continuous updates alerting teams and help desks, an organization facing a critical event can locate workers, direct them to safety, and explain where they are. In some cases, 100% liability is a legal requirement to ensure the physical protection of employees.

Secure, two-way notifications

Highly regulated industries such as oil and gas, healthcare, and business entities all need to consider the health and safety of their employees. During an emergency, accurate and timely notifications and two-way communication are crucial.

When CEM information is accurate and secure, organizations are more likely to work together when they can trust and leverage the same platform. Effective CEM solutions ingest threat intelligence and utilize the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with sensors that serve as authoritative sources in systems that can be triggered automatically or manually. Geo-fencing creates maps inside or outside a designated area to raise awareness of a threat and enable protective action.

In the event of a crisis, a high-performance CEM platform links communications between the local municipality, the commercial entity and the emergency services. Workflows can be automated, but systems are often so powerful that they trigger response actions that are sometimes false positives. Human involvement is essential to assess each inbound event, ensure proper analysis, and avoid sending unnecessary services. Early notifications allow organizations to pivot, saving precious time, resources and more during a critical event.

From the most common use cases of worsening weather conditions to unforeseen production failures, a strategic communication system can help contain an incident, maintain environmental safety, and inform leaders when it is safe to return to work. and resume manufacturing. When the key stages of preparation, planning, response, and recovery are in place and performed correctly, organizations can better manage critical events and learn from current practices to continuously improve to manage them. future events.


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