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Planning for avian u disruptions on global operations: a DMAIC case study

Sameer Kumar
Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Purpose The author aims to assess the spread of avian u, its impact on businesses operating in the USA and overseas, and the measures required for corporate preparedness. Design/methodology/approach Six Sigma DMAIC process is used to analyze avian us impact and how an epidemic could affect large US business operations worldwide. Wal-Mart and Dell Computers were chosen as one specializes in retail and the other manufacturing. Findings The study identies avian u pandemic risks including failure modes on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global operations. It reveals the factors that reinforce avian-u pandemics negative impact on company global supply chains. It also uncovers factors that balance avian-u pandemics impact on their global supply chains. Research limitations/implications Avian u and its irregularity affect the research outcomes because its spread could uctuate based on so many factors that could come into play. Further, the potential cost to manufacturers and other supply chain partners is relatively unknown. As a relatively new phenomenon, quantitative data were not available to determine immediate costs. Social implications In this decade, the avian inuenza H5N1 virus has killed millions of poultry in Asia, Europe and Africa. This u strain can infect and kill humans who come into contact with this virus. An avian inuenza H5N1 outbreak could lead to a devastating effect on global food supply, business services and business operations. Originality/value The study provides guidance on what global business operation managers can do to prepare for such events, as well as how avian u progression to a pandemic can disrupt such operations. This study raises awareness about avian us impact on businesses and humans and also highlights the need to create contingency plans for corporate preparedness to avoid incurring losses. Keywords Health and safety, Infection control, Six Sigma, PDCA, Quality management, Process management, Organizational effectiveness, Organizational change Paper type Case study

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Received 28 February 2010 Revised 11 June 2010 Accepted 19 July 2010

Introduction US companies for many years have been outsourcing and developing supplier bases in countries with less expensive raw materials and labor to gain competitive advantages (Kumar et al., 2007; Kumar and Eickhoff, 2006). The drive towards ultimate cost minimization has made supply chains vulnerable (Hoffman, 2006). There are many concerns for such vulnerabilities; one is infusing mass destruction weapons through the system via an unsuspecting companys supply chain into a country targeted by international terrorism (Kumar et al., 2008). Another could be an uncontrollable pandemic drastically affecting global supply chains (Ruquet, 2006). The potential short- and long-term damage to life and economic activity is incalculable (Rice and

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance Vol. 25 No. 3, 2012 pp. 197-215 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0952-6862 DOI 10.1108/09526861211210420



Spayd, 2005; Sikich, 2005, 2008). An avian u pandemic can affect a trading and transportation system in a major way, shown when human death by avian inuenza A (H5N1) deaths were reported in Hong Kong in 1997 (CDC, 2010). Avian inuenza is an infection caused by avian (bird) inuenza (u) virus. These inuenza viruses occur naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the virus in their intestines, but usually do not get sick from them. However, avian inuenza is highly contagious among wild and domesticated birds, including chicken, ducks and turkeys, which can sicken or cause fatalities (CDC, 2010). At rst, avian inuenza was unable to transfer to humans. However, the rst human case in 1997 showed a person contacting infected poultry or surfaces contaminated with secretion/excretions would be infected from three known inuenza virus A subtypes (H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2). Figure 1 illustrates a simplied avian u spread and avian u pandemic progression to humans. Between 2003 and 2009, 467 human cases involving highly pathogenic avian inuenza A (H5N1) viruses were reported by more than a dozen countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacic, Europe and the near East (CDC, 2010). Moreover, of those ill with H5N1 virus, approximately half (282 (50 percent)) died (WHO, 2009). The H5N1 virus is able to mutate and cause high mortality in humans. Literature review Few studies are found in the literature on avian u pandemics potential economic impact on global supply chains and corporate preparedness through business continuity strategies to minimize such a pandemics severity. The collaboration between public organizations (e.g. WHO, Congress, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, etc.) and private sectors (e.g. for prot organizations) is the most important aspect to mitigate supply chain risk from an avian u pandemic. Verbiest and Castillo (2004) showed even in its early stages, that avian u caused signicant economic damage primarily harming the agriculture sector, particularly poultry production. McLeod (2005) estimated the direct cost to livestock sector in Cambodia, Thailand and Viet Nam at $560 million. Estimating an avian u pandemics impact on economic costs is uncertain. There is considerable epidemiological uncertainty about how many people will be infected, disease severity and economic uncertainty about how an outbreak affects economics activity. It is also difcult to predict how the public will respond to a u outbreak. Experience shows that even during an epidemic outbreak, the public soon adapts to the disease and economic activity continues. On the demand side, a pandemic is likely to affect customer condence and change consumption and social patterns. It will also affect investor condence, which can have important long-term consequences. On the supply side, a pandemic will affect labor availability, as illness forces workers to stay home. It will also continue to negatively affect the livestock sector. Governments will have to deal with an uncertain policy environment as they respond to the public health emergency and economic dislocation. Markets have a tendency to overreact, which could exacerbate economic impact (Bloom et al., 2005). Therefore, no purchases owing to illness and psychological reactions to a pandemic present a new business impact that is currently not assessed as part of traditional business impact assessment; and as such, it is not addressed in any business continuity, disaster, crisis management or recovery plan. Another impact assessment or plan that has not been addressed is

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Figure 1. Avian u spread stages and progression to a pandemic



company revenue loss or restriction. Traditional plans start with an assumption that the marketplace is still viable; a potentially false assumption. Traditional plans are designed to get an organization back into their market as quickly as possible recovery time objective (RTO), recovery point objective (RPO) and maximum tolerable outage come to mind (MTO) (Sikich, 2005). From an economic viewpoint, evaluating an avian u pandemic is essential for an entire business entity. Planning for business continuity needs to consider potential failures in basic public infrastructure as well as upstream and downstream supply chains (Dalton and Considine, 2006) as a business continuity plans goal is to preserve and protect an enterprises essential elements and maintain acceptable operations throughout a crisis and afterward, as the company recovers. It is always easier to minimize risk than to recover from a setback. The business continuity plan process begins with identifying and managing risk (Rodetis, 1999). A research study on pandemic spread in Southeast Asia showed spatial spread patterns in Thailand the epidemic rapidly transforming from predominantly local to country-wide between 60 and 90 days (Ferguson et al., 2005). Therefore, an epidemic could increase its hazard to a pandemic. Its spread should alert both government and business entities to set up regulations, policies and procedures to prevent and control the catastrophe, which could happen (Knowledge@Wharton, 2006a). This study aims, therefore, to develop a decision framework using Six Sigma DMAIC process to analyze avian us potential impact on large company global operations such as Wal-Mart and Dell Computers, whose market and supply base span the world. Specically, our intent is to understand challenging operational issues to formulate business continuity plan for corporate preparedness in the event of an avian-u pandemic: . Avian u pandemic effects on businesses Wal-Mart and Dell Computers chosen for this study and the role various governments should play. . Avian u pandemics risk, including failure modes on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global operations. . What sequence of factors reinforces avian-us pandemic negative impact on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global operations? . What sequence balances an avian-u pandemic impact on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global operations? . Appropriate guidelines on business continuity plans for corporate preparedness to mitigate trading and transportation security risks and failure modes in Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global business operations. Analytical framework An avian u pandemics impact on the two global supply chain operations (Wal-Mart and Dell Computers) and the operational issues described earlier are analyzed using basic DMAIC an acronym for a Six Sigma problem-solving a method with similar traits to plan-do-check-act (PDCA) using dene (supply chain process maps), measure (situation analyses), analyze (failure mode and effects analysis), closed-loop (inuence diagrams), improve (future analysis), and control (future analysis). We conducted a literature review to understand, dene and measure the situation that a global business operation faces when it comes to virulent u infections. A situation analysis, a tool

within the software package Decision Focusw (Focus Performance Systems, 2005), analyzes the complex situation down to cause and effect, as well as assigning priority: severity, urgency and growth to each. From there, a cause and effect analysis was done on the top issue avian u becomes pandemic. The next step was to analyze the causes identied and implement strategies to correct or mitigate those causes. The supply chain process maps were developed for Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global operations showing the stages where the staff involved (for both Wal-Mart and Dell or their trading partners) could be infected by an avian u pandemic from the information we gathered. Subsequently, a detailed analysis was carried out using FMEA and closed-loop inuence diagrams for understanding the avian us pandemic impact on two global operations. All ve DMAIC phases for Wal-Mart and Dell Computers are simultaneously discussed in detail. A failure mode and effect analysis and closed-loop inuence diagrams illustrating avian u pandemics impact on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers supply chains are included in the DMAIC process analyze phase. Wal-Mart and Dell Computers Dene phase Wal-Mart has contract manufacturers predominantly in Asia and a majority in China. Thousands of stock keeping units (SKUs) are delivered overseas from manufacturing to logistic company to the nal destination US and European distribution centers. The company has many distribution centers with cross-docking arrangements that support inventory supplies for short time periods. Since the avian u began spreading from China to Hong Kong, Canada and to Africa, Asia and Europe, World Health Organization (WHO) staff are concerned that this epidemic becomes a pandemic if no international policies are put in place. Figure 2 shows a high level Wal-Mart global supply chain and the stages where staff involved (Wal-Mart or its trading partners) could be infected with avian u. Dell Computers built their success around a congure to order approach. Its major strength lies in sourcing from different parts of the world. Suppliers carry large parts and subassemblies inventory (buffer) in the US. Dell Computers has suppliers for its components and subassemblies in Asia, Europe and North America. For example, RAM chips and CD-ROM drives come from Japanese suppliers. Network cards, monitors and cooling fans are supplied by Taiwanese manufacturers, while Singapore supplies SCSI cards and disk devices. Video cards and microprocessors come from Hong Kong, oppy drives from Malaysia and power supplies from China. Soundcards are supplied by manufacturers in France and keyboards come from Mexico. Dells major assembly plant is in Austin, Texas. Figure 3 shows a high-level Dell Computers global supply chain and the stages where staff (Dells or its trading partners) could be infected with avian u. Measure phase The second step is to measure the situation. In the dene phase, we scoped shipping products from suppliers to consumers, but we did not dene the risk, severity and emergency in each step. Thus, the measure phase, where the situation statement is the avian u disruption in the supply chain process is measured, while related-key inputs will be all partners in each process ow (Figures 4 and 5). With limited proprietary information, our approach is a situation analysis using Decision Focusw (Focus Performance Systems, 2005) software on an avian u disruption to Wal-Mart and Dell

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Figure 2. Wal-Mart global supply chain with avian u pandemic exposure at various stages

Computers supply chain processes. This process is a tool to help solve issues that are broad, complex, have multiple causes and effects that cannot be resolved with one action. In this process, one denes the situation statement on the issue or concern. Then, this issue is broken down into specic sub-issues in the surrounding separation boxes. From there a priority is set for each sub-issue as S, U and G as it relates to the situation statement. The S is sub-issue seriousness (impact, cost, size, etc.); U is urgency (how fast is action required); and G is growth (sub-issue trend getting worse, better or staying the same). After setting priorities, the next step is to determine whether each sub-issue is cause or an effect. The software highlights the top causes on which to focus. This helps narrow the action and identies the highest priority sub-issue(s). The 80/20 rule applies in which 20 percent of the sub-issues account for 80 percent of the situation or problem. In using Decision Focusw tool on this issue, the template was completed and the priority was set by a business analyst team. The situation analyses outcome for Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global operations are shown in Figures 4 and 5 respectively. The avian u supply chain disruptions top causes seem to be that avian u becomes pandemic (note that S, U and G are all rated high). Decisions can then be made about what measures are needed to put in place before disruption. The rst step is to institute mechanisms for an international collaborative effort to contain a pandemic, developing and stockpiling vaccine,

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Figure 3. Dells global supply chain with avian u pandemic exposure at various stages

coordinated measures to quarantine affected people and implementing changes in Wal-Mart and Dells global business operations. The improvement measures section provides guidance to implement the proposed mechanisms. Moreover, this process also requires implementing health communication principles to the communities to ensure that trust in the companys global business operations and federal, state and local governments is not lost when these entities actually deal with the pandemic. Both Wal-Mart, Dell and their trading partners could preserve their value chains by taking these actions for safety and preparedness reasons.



Figure 4. Wal-Mart supply chain situation analysis

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Figure 5. Dells supply chain situation analysis



Analyze phase The analyze phase uses a failure mode effect analysis (FMEA) to provide evidence that a failure to manage supply chain risk can have a signicant negative impact on organizations (Mitchell, 1995). Failure mode effect analysis identies the failures wider consequences if risks are not managed effectively. These include not just nancial losses but also reducing product quality, damage to property and equipment, lost reputation in the customer and suppliers eyes, wider public and delivery delays. There is mounting evidence that economic, political and social, developments over the past decade appear to be increasing the supply chain disruption risk as supply chains get longer and more complex involving more partners owing to the increase in global sourcing (Hendricks and Singhal, 2005). We examine FMEA to determine the international shipping process steps involved in Wal-Mart supply chains (Table I). The key process input in each shipping process step lists people and material resources. Then, we dene what, when and how those process steps affect supply chain process ow. For example, in the rst process step, contract manufacturers are important. The key process inputs are employees, raw material, etc. If people become infected by H5N1 then they cannot work. Human resources in contract manufacturers side will be scarce. Moreover, avian u can affect manufacturers when vendor employees are afraid to come to work and decide to stay home until they can be sure it is safe. This can create problems on the vendor side as well. Thus, failure output/effects are contract manufacturers and Wal-Marts reputation, interrupted supplies and lost contracts with Wal-Mart. In an avian u pandemic, since there are products being shipped by overseas contract manufacturers, it can harm Wal-Mart customers safety. To reduce and control the potential effects from an avian u pandemic, contract manufacturers should work collaboratively with their governments and Wal-Mart, and also build an effective inventory tracking system. Similarly, Dell Computers (FMEA, Table I), could suffer from various issues such as supply disruption; its business success hinges on quickly assembling components and low inventory. Disruption could raise its inventory, thus increasing costs. The other issue Dell Computers can face is workforce disruption affecting its service level while customers needs are not met, dissatisfaction grows leading to serious consequences for Dell Computers revenues. An absent universal avian u pandemic control policy may lead to a slower response, which could greatly affect Dells business operations. Additionally, as part of the analyze phase, closed loop inuence diagrams are used to investigate avian u pandemic impact on both Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global supply chains. Figures 6 and 7 show avian u pandemics inuence on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global supply chains. In these gures, the solid lines show positive correlation, while dashed lines show negative correlation between two business factors. Analyzing closed loop (R), we see that it reinforces the pandemics impact on the system. In Wal-Marts case, Avian Flu pandemic increases Infected Population, which in turn increases Infected Staff in the Entire Wal-Mart Supply Chain. This reduces overseas and domestic contract manufactured goods and Wal-Marts sales. Subsequently, reduced Wal-Marts nancial resources reduce its capability to provide Preventive measures against Avian Flu, which further contributes to infected staff in the entire Wal-Mart supply chain. In Dells case, customer satisfaction is included in

Process step (what is key process step?) Human resource, raw materials Customer Workforce sick dissatisfaction (10) from avian u, raw material supplies interrupted Labor and raw material are not available in factory Government and WHO regulations, vaccine availability, collaborative effort

Potential failure Key process input Potential failure effects (what are (what is the key mode (how does the outputs/effects process input?) the key input fail?) of the failure?) Potential causes Controls (what (what causes input controls exist to to go wrong?) prevent failure?)

Severity to customer (how severe, on a scale 1-10, is the effect to the customer?

Suppliers Dell

Computer components

Wal-Mart Customer dissatisfaction (9)

Contract manufacturers

Avian u pandemic and supplier reputation; inventory and backlog order increases; raising supplier cost Suppliers and Wal-Mart reputation, interrupted supplies, loss of contracts with Wal-Mart Low reputation and nancials for Dell Customer Sick staff from dissatisfaction (10) avian u

International logistics Dell Third-party Computer components and subassemblies (Dell), Packaged products (WalMart), human resource Computer component and subassembly (Dell), Packaged products (WalMart) not delivered, staff is not available

Logistical regulations, tracking system, government and WHO regulations, vaccine availability, collaborative effort (continued )

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Table I. Shipping process failure mode effect analysis for Wal-Mart and Dell Computers


Process step (what is key process step?) Interrupted supplies, mistrust between shippers and Wal-Mart Customer dissatisfaction (9) Work backlog Customer dissatisfaction (10)


Customs/government agency/insurance Dell


Domestic logistics Dell


Table I.
Potential failure Key process input Potential failure effects (what are (what is the key mode (how does the outputs/effects process input?) the key input fail?) of the failure?) Severity to customer (how severe, on a scale 1-10, is the effect to the customer? Potential causes Controls (what (what causes input controls exist to to go wrong?) prevent failure?) International, federal and local government regulations Customer Interruption of supplies, nancial dissatisfaction (9) losses Low reputation and nancials for Dell Customer dissatisfaction (10) Logistical regulations, supplier distribution system, inventory tracking system Interruption of supplies, reduced inventory Customer dissatisfaction (9) (continued )


Third-party and in-house



Process step (what is key process step?) Potential causes Controls (what (what causes input controls exist to to go wrong?) prevent failure?) Customer dissatisfaction (10)

Potential failure Key process input Potential failure effects (what are (what is the key mode (how does the outputs/effects process input?) the key input fail?) of the failure?)

Severity to customer (how severe, on a scale 1-10, is the effect to the customer?

Distribution and warehousing Dell Suppliers Warehouses


Distribution centers Computer components and subassemblies, human resource Computer component or subassembly not delivered, staff not available Un-substitutable Customer computer dissatisfaction (10) component or subassembly is missing leading to inability to assemble nal computer, low turnaround time and impact on service level system, no sales, customer dissatisfaction

Un-substitutable computer component or subassembly is missing, inventory and backlog order increase, raising supplier costs Reduced inventory Customer dissatisfaction (9)

Assembly Dell


Logistical regulations, change in company policy, Inventory tracking system

(continued )

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Table I.


Process step (what is key process step?)

Retail Dell


Customers Dell



Table I.
Potential failure Key process input Potential failure effects (what are (what is the key mode (how does the outputs/effects process input?) the key input fail?) of the failure?) Severity to customer (how severe, on a scale 1-10, is the effect to the customer? Potential causes Controls (what (what causes input controls exist to to go wrong?) prevent failure?) Customer Staff and dissatisfaction (10) customers sick from avian u, pandemic panic Customer dissatisfaction (9) No sales, customer Customer dissatisfaction, dissatisfaction (10) and company reputation Health hazard control instructions, government regulations, vaccine availability Customer dissatisfaction (10) Customer dissatisfaction (9)



Packaged Product cannot be No sales, customer products, delivered, staff not dissatisfaction customers, human available resource Own retail outlets Supplies interrupted, reduced inventory, increased costs owing to backordering, reduced sales

Corporate customers

Direct individual customers Direct individual customers

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Figure 6. Closed loop inuence diagram showing avian u pandemics effect on Wall-Marts global supply chain

Figure 7. Closed loop inuence diagram showing Avian Flu pandemics effect on Dells global supply chain



the closed loop because it is crucially important to Dells business model and its signicant impact. This reinforcing closed loop (R) should be taken-up seriously by Wal-Mart and Dells senior managers as it can escalate to uncontrollable situation with a pandemics increasing impact on the supply chain. On the other hand, closed loop (B) helps balance the pandemics impact on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers supply chains. In both cases, higher level infected population needs WHO staff to initiate more regulations, which lead to increased worldwide preventive measures against avian u, which helps reduce infected populations. In global supply chain operations, companies are more susceptible to supply disruptions, which may ultimately result in inventory shortage and fewer customers. Smaller inventory, sick US staff and fewer customers lead to falling sales. Inventory shortage and a smaller customer base may occur owing to import and domestic supply disruptions caused by an avian u pandemic. Based on closed loop inuence diagrams described earlier in Figures 6 and 7, we now summarize how Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global supply chains are affected by an Avian Flu pandemic. Wal-Mart procures nished SKU products mostly from Asia, largely from China and also smaller amounts from domestic suppliers. On the other hand, Dell procures components and subassemblies mostly from Asia, largely from China, fewer from domestic suppliers and assembles computer systems in the US. Avian u pandemic affects Wal-Mart and Dell supply chains differently. In Wal-Marts case, supply disruption may result in reduced inventory for fewer SKU products thereby reducing sales. In Dells case, disrupted component and subassembly supplies may result in not being able to build nished computer, which will lose sales. Customer sales will be affected by fewer Dell and Wal-Mart products and sick staff in the US may lead to customers switching to competitors. Avian u pandemic also affects the customer base, having fewer customers buying products from Wal-Mart and Dell. Improvements measures in Wal-Marts and Dells supply chains Managers must pursue strategies to review and communicate risks for suppliers, employees and their families, and immediate contacts while integrating avian u strategy with company health, safety and environment policy. Measures proposed for supply chain improvements may include: . Constantly reviewing operational plans. . Carrying out vendor capability assessments. . Creating detailed preventive measures to adequately prepare a detailed operational action plan in case of outbreaks. . Ensuring business continuity and planning to safeguard activities in the case of epidemic spread. . Drawing on good practices from other businesses, expert and ofcial advice. . Sharing actions with others and offering mentoring. . Initiating education on prevention, understanding symptoms, contact risks, full personal and workplace preparedness for emergency action. . Planning employee communication chain roles. . Encouraging a trust and openness culture.

Implementing a decisive response to individual cases avoiding stigma and maintaining condentially. Building a strong public health culture in the workplace for all future health risks. Ensuring that all managers and supervisors contribute to non-discriminatory workplace and external contact surveillance regarding symptoms, contact risks with sensitive and decisive response to outbreaks and risks. Encouraging employees to be vigilant.

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Control measures for Wal-Marts and Dells supply chains To prevent spread when a worker is already infected, the proposed pandemic management plan may include: . Monitoring staff to identify infected members. . Sending staff home once a pandemic case is identied. . Quarantining products and supplies. . Avoiding meetings and encouraging teleconferences. . Encouraging staff to be hygienic by washing hands and sterilizing work tools. . Limiting documents transfer such as invoice with fewer hands involved, considering electronic transfer. . Canceling meetings or shipments. . Encouraging vaccination among suppliers, distributors and staff. Conclusions Our analysis shows sequential factors that reinforce or balance an avian u pandemics impact on Wal-Mart and Dell Computers global supply chains. Such analyses are useful for top managers wishing to develop strategic business continuity plans and corporate preparedness for effectively responding to the major risk posed by a pandemic on their supply chains. Companies with global operations should, as a matter of urgency, adopt and create business continuity plans to combat workforce loss and supply chain disruption (Dalton and Considine, 2006; Knowledge@Wharton, 2006b; Rodetis, 1999). Managers also have to review their insurance policies to determine coverage during a crisis. Supply chain managers must communicate and educate suppliers and transporters about preparedness. Companies must keep supplier information and contact and help educate them on the need to adopt best practices to protect their staff. Business organizations should not wait until an outbreak strikes before taking action since they might have little time to prepare and a pandemic could limit travel, disrupt supply chains and hit staff attendance, causing an overall business slowdown. It is essential that staff are informed when and where cases occur, so they know where they can travel and what to avoid. Information should be shared via telephone, e-mail and text message, or via the companys intranet. As part of this process, managers must make sure they have up-to-date contact details for all their staff. The logistical challenges posed by a potential pandemic would be different from those posed by a terrorist attack. Traditional contingency planning revolves around a scenario in which a companys logistical infrastructure is taken out-of-action. In an


avian u case, company corporate infrastructure would be in place, but many employees would be unwilling or unable to work or travel. So it is imperative to assess continuity plans for keeping the business going, such as whether staff can work from remote locations. Effective collaboration is needed among governments, international organizations, businesses and other supply chain stakeholders. Recommendations Business continuity plans and related costs are not easy to ascertain because historical data are not available and because the low experience curve associated with avian u. As a relatively new phenomenon, quantitative data are not available to determine immediate costs. Potential cost to vendors, manufacturers and other supply chain stakeholders is relatively unknown. This could be attributed to inexperience dealing with a serious outbreak. System dynamics modeling is one way to quantify avian u pandemics impact on global supply chains. Avian us nature and its unpredictability affect research because many factors can come into play, which concerns any business manager. More research should be undertaken to study and understand avian us impact on human population and domestic and global business operations. Actually implementing a proposed business model in Wal-Mart and Dell Computers operations is a logical next step. The author plans to pursue this effort with company managers. Absent universal policy or regulations to control a pandemic could be problematic. A major problem is that different national policies hinder control measures. There is a great need for collaboration among governments and organizations and also formulating integrated global policy and regulations to avert an avian u pandemics potential threat.
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