Creating Supply Chain Excellence

The Tompkins International Blog

Plan Ahead for Human (or Computer) Error Crisis that Could Occur in Your Supply Chain

May 10, 2010

We’ve been talking a lot about the ups and downs of the economy lately. Who hasn’t?

And we all got a rush of adrenaline the other day as the stock market plummeted nearly 1,000 points, only to reemerge moments later to everyone’s relief. With murmurs that the quick drop could have been caused by simple human error, many of us are left wondering where the catch points are in the system.

We all have stories (but probably not on this large of a scale) of a time when simple human error caused a company (or personal) crisis.When these types of events happen, they remind us that organizations need to think about where Newton’s Law does not apply: that is, the situations when a small action equals a monstrous reaction.

As of this writing, those investigating the brief stock market panic are focusing on a technical error that may have caused a domino effect of computerized automatic selling. But whether it was the fault of human or computer system error, it likely involves a mismatch of rules between the two.

In a recent blog post by David Meyers on the Supply Chain Information Technology Perspectives Blog – An Idiot Proof System — or Maybe Just a ‘Bubba’ Proof One? – he discusses the necessity of “idiot proofing” your supply chain systems to stave off these kinds of catastrophes. Check out David’s insight, and don’t be caught off-guard by“Bubba.”