May 14 2010   3:11PM GMT

When volcano erupts, supply chain management success hinges on DR, BC

Rachel Lebeaux Rachel Lebeaux Profile: Rachel Lebeaux

It’s been a few weeks, but the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull (good thing I don’t have to pronounce Eyjafjallajökullthese newscasters weren’t so lucky) is still erupting and the disaster recovery and business continuity lessons keep on coming.

One of my colleagues attended a conference during the no-fly period, and saw first-hand how technology can aid business continuity: A keynote speaker who was stranded in Europe did his talk via live videoconference, even responding to questions that popped up live or via Twitter.

This story was still rolling through my mind as I read Senior News Writer Linda Tucci’s story this week about business continuity and the volcano. Prior to that, I’d been thinking of disaster recovery and business continuity more in terms of the physical limitations of people being unable to travel, but she investigates the supply chain management nightmare created by the lack of air travel for days on end.

The message? You could have an excellent supply chain management strategy – but if you don’t have the disaster recovery and business continuity plan to back it up, it won’t do you a whole lot of good when it matters the most.

Do you have a successful disaster recovery or business continuity story that worked — or didn’t, and you learned an important lesson from it? What’s your supply chain management strategy when things go wrong? I’d love to hear your story; please e-mail me at

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