Improving national resilience

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The disruption of supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a number of manufacturers to rethink their supply chains - hopefully this includes key areas of industry.

Commenting on the findings, Richard Austin, BDO’s head of manufacturing said: “The supply delays experienced by UK manufacturers at the start of the pandemic were a wake-up call, prompting many operators to confront the risks involved in over-relying on single suppliers for key components. This was particularly true in cases where suppliers were geographically very distant.

“Our survey has found that many manufacturers are actively formulating strategies to diversify their supply chains and opting for dual or multiple sourcing for critical supplies....
Bringing stuff more local ought to help make things more secure. At the same time, it would kick China - which, after all, got us all into this mess.
 

Yokel

LE
On another forum - I was asked (sort of) why I was interested in this and why I started the thread. It is because a lot of these things are down to Government and only public/media pressure will cause action, and also because a lot of resilience comes down to the private individual or the business owner - even small ones.

Google defines it as:

1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

Neither of these definitions mention flexibility, although that might be considered synonymous with elasticity. Therefore resilience is say getting your shopping from a different place than normal, or thinking of alternative routes of your normal roads are closed, or having lights that come on in a power cut. For a business it might mean researching alternative suppliers, investigating different routes for vehicles, or having arrangements to cope with the electricity supply being disrupted

For example if you business involved lots of drivers doing deliveries, you might want to install some sort of radio, but you would back it up with mobile phones. Then you would think about possible bottlenecks and places that could get flooded etc, and look for alternatives.

When I was a school age child my father worked at a Cheese factory - it ran all day, all year, as the cows keep producing milk. My father was an electrician, and they had primary boilers with back ups, and could also switch electrical supplies to keep things going.,

This is why this thread exists.
 

Yokel

LE
We need more ice cream vans - water, freezer, generator, and loudspeaker. Also some ice cream and soft drinks.

 

Yokel

LE
During the Cold War, what was then MAFF kept bulk stocks of things such as flour, yeast, sugar, and other basic ingredients. Until the seventies canned Corned Beef was kept. This was meant to feed the survivors of a nuclear attack.

God willing the possibility of a nuclear exchange is very low.

The last twelve months saw considerable disruption to supply chains, but food did not run out. Nobody was sinking ships carrying things like grain, mining our ports, or sabotaging food factories.

Should those old style national stockpiles exist? Maybe. Should things be kept as emergency supplies on a local basis - maybe. Things like hospitals and warships always maintain emergency stocks.
 
During the Cold War, what was then MAFF kept bulk stocks of things such as flour, yeast, sugar, and other basic ingredients. Until the seventies canned Corned Beef was kept. This was meant to feed the survivors of a nuclear attack.

God willing the possibility of a nuclear exchange is very low.

The last twelve months saw considerable disruption to supply chains, but food did not run out. Nobody was sinking ships carrying things like grain, mining our ports, or sabotaging food factories.

Should those old style national stockpiles exist? Maybe. Should things be kept as emergency supplies on a local basis - maybe. Things like hospitals and warships always maintain emergency stocks.
This came up at the start of the Covid outbreak. Various people saying we should have stockpiles of PPE, the hot topic last year of course.
The answer seemed to be that keeping large stockpiles of “stuff” is expensive and high maintenance. It will also need churning at intervals to ensure it’s still usable, which of course adds to the costs.
 

A.N.Other

War Hero
This came up at the start of the Covid outbreak. Various people saying we should have stockpiles of PPE, the hot topic last year of course.
The answer seemed to be that keeping large stockpiles of “stuff” is expensive and high maintenance. It will also need churning at intervals to ensure it’s still usable, which of course adds to the costs.
I have a similar problem.

My day job is the IT service continuity and disaster recovery manager for a government agency. I have to ensure the precautions are reasonable, standby equipment the minimum necessary and processes to maintain DR (including red tape in projects) are minimal. This is reasonable and today I'm organising the disposal of 45 PCs from our DR site. They have never been used but have reached end of life due to age and our move to Microsoft Surface mobile devices.

Luckily for me we have had a few scares in the past few years (none my fault!) and have used these to build support at board level for DR. Without that I would never be able to to my job and would always be fighting to get things done.
 

Yokel

LE
I saw an interview with the former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. He was saying that one of the things the post COVID-19 investigation will need to look at was what lessons where learnt from other pandemic. He claimed it was a lesson from the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong that care homes need three weeks of PPE in case of supplies being disrupted.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I saw an interview with the former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. He was saying that one of the things the post COVID-19 investigation will need to look at was what lessons where learnt from other pandemic. He claimed it was a lesson from the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong that care homes need three weeks of PPE in case of supplies being disrupted.
Yes, and I hope that it's made clear that the responsibility for that is the care homes' and not the of The Evil Tories/NHS/PHE.
 
I saw an interview with the former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. He was saying that one of the things the post COVID-19 investigation will need to look at was what lessons where learnt from other pandemic. He claimed it was a lesson from the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong that care homes need three weeks of PPE in case of supplies being disrupted.
Was that 3 weeks based
a) On normal consumption &
b) Of the sort of PPE they normally use (I suspect care homes don't normally use surgical gowns)

or 3 weeks at the hugely increased consumption rate & the different items needed under a Covid regime?
 

Yokel

LE
Yes, and I hope that it's made clear that the responsibility for that is the care homes' and not the of The Evil Tories/NHS/PHE.

I do not know how the Government can be considered responsible for the actions or lack of action by private companies who I presume normally procure their own PPE.

Was that 3 weeks based
a) On normal consumption &
b) Of the sort of PPE they normally use (I suspect care homes don't normally use surgical gowns)

or 3 weeks at the hugely increased consumption rate & the different items needed under a Covid regime?

I have no idea. It was a situation that was unprecedented.

On a related note, one manufacturing SME tried to allay fears of supply disruption at the start of the pandemic by stating on their website that they kept £750 000 worth of components in stock. Great - but why advertise that to thieves?
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Yes, and I hope that it's made clear that the responsibility for that is the care homes' and not the of The Evil Tories/NHS/PHE.

Dentists are also responsible for their own PPE.
In last February March before the pandemic truly hit it was no longer possible to obtain such simple items as face masks.
The only supplies were held by government and released to the various suppliers at a very slow rate.
 

Yokel

LE
On the Cold War Home Defence thread, someone outlined some of the initial Transition To War measures that would take place in a crisis. One of these was that Crown Agents would scour the Globe to try to source things such as antibiotics, other pharmaceuticals, strategic materials, and other things.

During the last few months of 2019 and the first few months of 2020, agents of the People's Republic of China were pretending to be private citizens and buying PPE in a way that avoided the attention of intelligence agencies.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
On the Cold War Home Defence thread, someone outlined some of the initial Transition To War measures that would take place in a crisis. One of these was that Crown Agents would scour the Globe to try to source things such as antibiotics, other pharmaceuticals, strategic materials, and other things.

During the last few months of 2019 and the first few months of 2020, agents of the People's Republic of China were pretending to be private citizens and buying PPE in a way that avoided the attention of intelligence agencies.
Whereas we just had MPs give such contracts to their friends and family
 

Yokel

LE
Whereas we just had MPs give such contracts to their friends and family

My only possible response to that is that we need to hold politicians to account and demand the highest levels of integrity and accountability.

Also we need more surveillance of international events, which I think is meant to be a theme of our presidency of G7. Did anyone in Government see the news reports from China with things like military transport aircraft flying medics around?

Why were we caught on the back foot?
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My only possible response to that is that we need to hold politicians to account and demand the highest levels of integrity and accountability.

Also we need more surveillance of international events, which I think is meant to be a theme of our presidency of G7. Did anyone in Government see the news reports from China with things like military transport aircraft flying medics around?

Why were we caught on the back foot?


We also have had the military involved in the transport of supplies.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
My only possible response to that is that we need to hold politicians to account and demand the highest levels of integrity and accountability.

Also we need more surveillance of international events, which I think is meant to be a theme of our presidency of G7. Did anyone in Government see the news reports from China with things like military transport aircraft flying medics around?

Why were we caught on the back foot?
In part because when China was challenged it said that all was ok.
 

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