Amidst the news of a large hurricane, most were glued to the weather channel out of curiosity. Network distributors in Texas and Louisiana didn’t have time to watch the news – they had to act fast to get critical supplies, including essential products for cleaning, disinfecting, water removal, and basic sanitation, to the affected areas.
While Network distributors prepared for the unknown by securing buildings, checking back-up generators, deciding alternative delivery paths, rerouting trucks, and assisting employees with no place to go, four inches of rainfall per hour was falling. Particularly challenging was the situation for two hospitals serviced by a Network customer. The hospitals depended on a regular delivery of necessities to keep their patients and employees safe and operations running, however roads were closing due to the escalating weather.
After some thought, the team decided that the best way to deliver into this area was through two Network warehouses in Houston, but state authorities had all roads from these warehouses closed. It was time to devise a “Plan B”.
“Immediately, we reached out to the Owner and President of a Network distributor in Louisiana”, said Barb Hunt, Corporate Account Director for Network. “We discussed the critical needs and supplies that had to be delivered and in an instant. She (the owner) kicked into action even though she had also been impacted by the hurricane. With the help of an experienced truck driver and a small flashlight, they were able to load up the truck and head to Houston.”
The trip that should have taken only a couple of hours under normal conditions, took approximately 13 hours. Along the way, the driver and owner worked together to find alternate routes to get to the hospitals, and Network kept in contact with all parties involved.
What started as a need to load up hospitals with the right supplies, grew into a relief effort for employees of another Network customer-supported company. The Network customer coordinated emergency clean up kits given to more than 500 employees to help them squeegee, mop, disinfect and dispose of the damaging effects at their homes. On top of supplying the hospitals, the distributors coordinated efforts to ship hundreds of mops, brooms, bags and other essential items to a parking lot in Houston for the employees. Trailers were set up that acted as makeshift store fronts for employees to pick up components of the clean up kits.
In anticipation of future disasters, Network business continuity efforts continue to focus on best practices in keeping customers’ supply chain operations in the event of a catastrophic event. Network works closely with its experts and distributors to implement disaster recovery planning by identifying the actions, resources, and procedures to keep customers operational despite unexpected interruptions.
While Network’s national distribution reach is one of its advantages, the preparation, experience, and heroic local execution of distributors and local resources always come through for the customer in the end, whenever results are required.
As you can imagine our sense of urgency was exponential. We knew we could not do this alone, and Network’s commitment and creative perseverance is was what helped us deliver our promise to our customers