Being the main contributor to supply chain disruption, unexpected events should be properly prepared for. These events can be classified into two categories: internal and external. Internal events usually entail anything which the supply chain companies are responsible for. This involves things like product recalls, transportation disasters, cost escalation, etc. External events involve occurrences that aren’t controlled by the supply chain company like border restrictions, natural disasters, importing taxes, etc.
For example, in recent events from the COVID-19 pandemic, many supply chains have been disrupted or halted due to the closing of borders and increased importing protocols. The global economy was greatly affected by the shutdown of businesses and we are still recovering. This is a prime example of an external unexpected event: a global pathogen.
In both cases of unexpected events (and decreased supply), keeping an inventory can prove quite useful. By having an excess of materials or products, any company which is experiencing slowdowns due to unexpected events can still fulfill its procedures. In severe terms, an inventory can also give a company enough time to find another material supplier. Many retail and industrial businesses own and manage storage facilities (warehouses) for these scenarios if they arise.