Corporate Social Responsibility in Improving Education

Education is one of the tools used to gauge the social progress in a society as it leads to self-sustainability and equal development. It is thus being utilized by the business community to contribute to social objectives, such as societal development and human progress. This is evident from the number of multi-national corporations that are playing a role in improving the education conditions, especially in the developing countries, thereby reducing illiteracy and under-education (Doh & Tashman, 2014).

Corporate social responsibility, CSR is exercised through an establishment of corporate goals that lead to an ethical relationship and transparency with stakeholders to sustain societal development (Mullerat & Brennan, 2011). CSR enables a firm to gain a competitive advantage as well as a positive reputation. CSR has led to the elimination of textbooks in classrooms through online web-based curriculums that are updated more often than textbooks. Moreover, companies are subsidizing education as well as education charities, such as Room to Read, while others offer students online schemes whereby they can pay a dollar for language materials (Doh & Tashman, 2014).

Further, education funds have been established as CSR initiatives to donate to educational projects in countries that send students to further their studies abroad. Besides, through CSR companies have used information technology to offer opportunities for literacy and access to knowledge (Doh & Tashman, 2014). Companies, such as Google and Nike sponsor projects for the education of the young generation in addition to creating a culture of education that advances the quality of people’s lives.

CSR has changed the nature of learning in schools. This is being done through fostering the ability to analytically process and differentiate information out of the array of information available to learners as well as how best to use such information to cope with challenges in future (Mullerat & Brennan, 2011). Moreover, companies are funding the development of e-textbooks and online teaching resources that are reminiscent with the changing nature of future learning to bridge the education gap between the poor and the rich. 

 

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and other venereal diseases are infections that are commonly spread by sex, especially oral sex, vaginal intercourse, and anal sex.Examples are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes simplex. The common STDs are gonorrhea and Chlamydia, which are most prominent female gender with considerable variations across age groups and race. Most STDs do not form symptoms and signs and therefore predisposes the individuals to spreading before it’s realized, making strategies to combat the diseases difficult. The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases amongst people differs considerably across gender and race. Research shows the infection rates are different based on varied different factors including culture, the community surroundings and even individual based factors like age and behavior. Sexually transmitted diseases are normally associated with reckless drug and substance abuse.

Sexually transmitted infections are continuing to be a major public health problem amongst the women and young youth who are disproportionately at risk of the infection. Research done shows that high rates of infections amongst the blacks as compared to the lower risk exposure to whites. Such variations may pose challenges in coming up with an integrated approach to combating and fighting the diseases. Both gender and race have multiple correlates that may account for the differences, including cultural influences, experience of sexual exposure, socioeconomic status, education, poor family environment and access to community resources. Therefore, obtaining an accurate understanding of the nature of STD infection among people requires accounting for race and gender (Schmid-Hempel, 2011).

In addition to race and gender, various individual-level factors such as age, criminal involvement, drug and substance abuse have shown consistent indicators to STD predisposition. However, such relationships have shown inconsistent across gender and hence posing difficulty in establishing integrated measures and strategies to combat the malady. In particular, people who indulge in drug and substance abuse are more likely to test STD positive because their mental judgment is impaired and therefore resulting in risky and uncontrolled sexual activities. The young adolescents suffer a major blow and hence exposed to infection because they are considered to be sexually active among the population. The female gender are considered to mature faster than boys and hence earlier exposed.

It is increasingly paramount to consider the contribution of the community level factors in influencing diseases amongst various populations. Neighborhoods characterized by high levels of poverty, economic inequality, and less employments are less able to provide the required resources and hence fall into many social ills. Communities marked by variation in ethnic and racial differences have less social cohesion and hence minimal mechanisms to develop social control to such influences due to language and cultural barriers. The aforementioned factors normally tend to undermine social cohesion within the community and hence discourages mitigation such public health issues (Heiligenberg et. al, 2012).

The understanding of how the above factors influence the infection rates of STDs is very important so as to develop mitigation measures. For instance, proper education programs targeting the young adults on the negative effects of drug abuse is very important to fighting the scourge. Gender -specific programs targeting sexual health and the well-being of the affected group is essential. Thus, adapting intervention and prevention strategies to meet the social, and ecological and developmental, needs of each particular subgroup of people at risk for STD infections is the most effective and efficient intervention strategy. Taking a socio-ecological approach to the understanding, and more significantly preventing STD infection among the selective age clusters will not only improve the lives of the individuals involved, but will also improve the health and well-being of the community as a whole.

Therefore studying how the various factors influence susceptibility to STD infections helps in developing educative and health programs that target the specific group leading to a more healthy community (Johnson et.al, 2011).

 

Executing Strategies in a Global Environment

Strategies seek to cohesively integrate an organization’s chief goals, policies, and action plans into one. If strategies are precisely formulated, they assist in organizing and allocating resources into a unique and viable level based on their relative internal strengths and weaknesses, future environmental changes, and competitors’ moves, globally (Hill & Jones, 2012). It is thus important for managers to formulate effective strategies that differentiate their firms from competitors to ensure they meet customer needs.

Federal Express is one such company that has continuously formulated strategies to improve its market share and its competitive position globally. Federal Express has created strategies which enable clients to receive their goods and components within their timeframe and matched such expectations through innovative activities, replication of its model and activities by competitors in countries it operates. The firm’s strategic competitiveness has been based on speedy and reliable delivery system to create value to clients on an overnight basis (Benson & Kinsella, 2001).

Moreover, Federal Express has over time created value by having customers to realize that they are short of major production process parts or items being demanded by their clients and thus have to turn to Federal Express complete that part for them (Porter, 2009). Further, the company has created value through effective coordination of all inbound and outbound logistics activities to mitigate the costs, such as inventory costs and adoption of supply chain management to reduce the volatility of the firm’s operations (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2012). Management of the firm’s supply chain has led to value creation thus increasing its competitive advantage.

Besides, in a bid to create value, Federal Express has tried to exploit its strategic intent of becoming the industry leader in providing end-to-end supply-chain provider. To create value for client firms, FedEx has designed networks for clients to exchange information digitally, replacing the inefficient fax and telephone services, to boost product demand, ensure flexibility in production schedules, as well as avail raw materials on time (Hill & Jones, 2012). Moreover, the firm is working towards instituting a system that will eliminate clients’ warehouses for efficiency and effectiveness.

The firm has created a supply-chain management system that has created value to the clients by allowing companies to outsource supply-chain to a provider, hence concentrating on their key competencies for cost effectiveness. Innovations, such as the internet has also assisted Federal Express to create value by creating new direct-ordering systems and distribution capabilities. However, value creation has also come from competitors, such as UPS who keep Federal Express on its toes with new innovations and inventions (Porter, 2009). Moreover, the company’s future competitiveness will be exploited to create value for clients through managing customer supply chains effectively and efficiently. 

Apparently, Federal Express lacks a competitive advantage in the generic building blocks of competitive advantage, which include; customer responsiveness, innovation, efficiency and quality (Benson & Kinsella, 2001). Therefore, in terms of efficiency, Federal Express should fully embrace wireless technology, since it was the first company in package delivery to introduce such technology, to enable employees to access company information on a 24-hour basis as well as scanning packages using bar codes and magic wands. This reduced the probability of making errors in package-tracking system, but have been unable to compete with UPS ground delivery system. They should strengthen the supply chain to ensure efficiency over their competitors.

In a bid to enhance quality, Federal Express should invest in new technologies to foster reliability in the delivery of their services to clients. Federal Express should enhance quality by introducing technologies that are innovative, for instance tracking of packages via global positioning service on satellite, installing address checkers to assist in mitigating delivery inaccuracies and lateness to retain clients and add new ones (Hill & Jones, 2012).  Further, the company should build the competitive block by investing in new technologies to boost service delivery. The firm should utilize the technology institute it established to conduct research and development for future technologies to ensure they stay ahead of competitors.

The firm should persistently identify and satisfy the clients’ needs by employing the latest technology that can make it easier for the clients to rely on Federal Express for value creation to their services. This way the company will be in a position to differentiate itself from the competitors and thus attract more business. This can be done by reducing the drop-off time by more hours than the currently stipulated hours to ensure that clients have more time to make the due time. The firm should also incorporate partnerships with other companies to ensure that clients have more time and locations on where to drop their packages (Porter, 2009).

The company’s is able to differentiate its products at business level by exploiting its strengths in operations, logistics and technological innovations. This has enabled the firm to differentiate itself from competitors by generating a service level that competitors have been unable to match. The company is an innovator and should strive to maintain that in the eyes of its clients and differentiate and market itself as an innovator in the market who provides high level of service (Hamel & Prahalad, 2010). This will enable clients to realize that if they are asked to pay more for the services rendered then it will be worthy.

Product differentiation will thus establish a strong customer base with the understanding that the company strives to offer superior services as compared to its competitors in the market. Since all the competitors can make fast deliveries, Federal Express should strengthen its customer service and employ customer-oriented staff who listen to clients. Moreover, the firm should differentiate itself as the only company that offers client support on 24 hours, picking up packages from clients’ location, and offering a money-back guarantee to clients (Hill & Jones, 2012). This feat will ensure that the company has differentiated itself from competitors.

Federal Express has been successful in differentiating itself from the competitors, especially globally. However, competitors, such as UPS are cheaper, Federal Express still hold the lead in competitiveness due to the supply chain the company has been able to establish particularly in its FedEx brand. FedEx has been able to deliver with speed, innovation, and technology (Benson & Kinsella, 2001). Moreover, the brand identity which differentiates it has been designed in orange and orange colors thus creating a brand line that clients can associate with. Through differentiation the company would be able to create a greater customer base and loyalty on its brands. Moreover, the firm will be able to charge premium prices for differentiated services as compared to competitors and clients would find value for their money (Porter, 2009). 

The company has been able to create a business model that entrenches the distinctive competencies the company has strived to achieve since inception. Further, the company has ensured an edge in faster delivery of packages to clients around the globe on an expanded network. More next-day deliveries have been extended in more countries, especially in Asia. Federal Express has thus been able to employ the differentiation strategy to its advantage as the firm that offers faster delivery times as well as door-to-door pick-up and delivery services (Hitt et al., 2012). The company has been the first to venture into new markets thus acting as the market leader who tastes the waters for competitors to follow suit. This has rewarded Federal Express in building competencies in availing services that no rival can.

The company has further pursued the global strategy on a technological front by offering more automated and package tracking options than its rivals. Exploitation of technological advances, strong resources, and capabilities to operate in the shipping industry has also enabled the company gain efficiency in doing business and delivering competencies. Moreover, the company has incorporated building new global infrastructure to support competency building in the market. Such efficiency has been fostered by the rise of internet commerce that has linked the global market with consumers all over the world purchasing products and services via the internet (Porter, 2009)

Federal Express should use market segmentation to target different clients and thus improve its competitiveness, profitability, and better serve clients’ aircrafts, with a fleet of 638 aircrafts in their business to increase efficiency of serving clients thus differentiating itself from rivals, such as TNT. Meanwhile, the firm has ensured efficiency in its business model by utilizing firm-specific tangible and intangible resources, such as package handling systems. 

Moreover, the company needs. Further, this would enable the company to operate independently yet collectively and hence differentiate itself from its rivals. The segments would each concentrate on its own market instead of the whole market. One segment would ensure that delivery of small packages is fast with a money-back guarantee on late delivery. Moreover, another segment would ensure that it caters for businesses only. This way each customer would be satisfied and would know where to raise concerns regarding their packages.

Hamel and Prahalad (2010) assert that global competition may impact the firm in that it may lack a competitive advantage in the long term if it does not apply innovation and ensure competitiveness. The strategies being taken up at Federal Express are enough to ensure a competitive advantage in future which would translate into huge profits. This would be possible through the international infrastructure that foster creation of a global competency for the market. Federal Express is the leader in global shipping network thus enabling the firm offer solutions around the world in a better way than its rivals.

The company employs product differentiation to build services that are unique within the industry as compared to what the rivals are offering. The package design, customer service, logistics, and brand image should be differentiated to attract customers with a unique offering to meet the clients’ needs better that rivals, such as UPS and DHL, which would enable the clients to pay a premium price for the service and at the same time derive value for their money. Moreover, differentiating its products and services, Federal Express will create brand loyalty never witnessed before thus creating a high profit margin. The prices should be set in a way as to compete with rivals who may tempt to undercut prices when venturing into the market segments created by Federal Express (Hitt et al., 2012).

To confront the global competition, the company should prepare to invest globally so as to grab the market attention in the package delivery business. This should be done by investing in new and competitive technologies, processes as well as value boosters that carry a price tag. This should be coupled with research and design to provide solutions to the marketplace. Moreover, the firm should go cross-functional by launching a coordinated effort in innovate thus gaining a competitive advantage over rivals and high returns thereafter (Hamel & Prahalad, 2010). Clients should thus be involved in the innovation process to provide feedback on whether the products are desirable and can make an impact in the market.

However, to confront the global competition, Federal Express should focus on serving each market segment throughout the world (Porter, 2009). This would enable the company to serve each specific market more efficiently that rivals on the basis of product differentiation and lower cost in some markets and premium prices in the others. Although focus on smaller segments of the entire market limits the firm’s market share, this is compensated by increased profitability realized from the premium markets. Moreover, the strategy of focus is not without risks as rivals try to imitate Federal Express and exploit the sub-markets within the strategic target market thus reducing the differences between the overall and target markets with high operations costs mitigating the overall advantage obtained from the differentiation in the market segments. 

Consequently, the company should set strategies that match the market segments created in the global market. Moreover, the strategies must meet the internal capabilities and the situation regarding the external environment. Further, the strategy should be in a position of defensibility in the market to enable Federal Express to create competitiveness through profitability. 

 

Global Trends 2030: The NIC's Four Alternative Scenarios for 2030

As the world evolves, uncertainties about the future are becoming more imminent to a point where stakeholders are thinking the impact could become irreversible. Decision- makers are thus advised to think and plan for the long term to mitigate the occurrence of negative futures and foster the positive ones. This will happen by keeping an eye on the trends that are likely to affect the world in the future, which include; individual empowerment, the demographic patterns, diffusion of power, and resources (National Intelligence Council, NIC, 2012).

Individual empowerment will enable people to have greater access to more resources than before. This is a concern to security because as individuals get empowered, the bad guys too gain access to lethal technologies, thus posing a threat to global security through large-scale violence. However, it is surprising to see that Middle East view individual empowerment as a way of fragmenting countries.

Demographic pattern is another interesting trend whose key concern is the aging factor and urban migration whereby economic growth may fall in the aging countries, such as the Western countries (Slaughter, 2013). Aging and migration will determine the economic and political conditions in most countries as the number of youthful populations shrink and migration bring cross-border issues and more security threats.

Moreover, resources abundance and scarcity, such as energy, food and water is likely to change the future. The interesting feat is that if the prices of oil fall, some countries will not be in a position to balance their budget while other countries, such as Pakistan, a drop in oil prices will bring down the cost of living (Slaughter, 2013). Diffusion of power will see developing nations in Africa and Asia surpass North America and Europe in terms of global power. The positive effect of this trend is that there will be hope for countries to develop economically and in terms of security, a feat that was not envisioned 30 years ago (NIC, 2012).

Liberalism and Postmodernism

Liberalism is the ideology of individualism and the freedoms associated with people’s rational and uninhibited nature. It is founded on the belief that individuals’ have a natural right to follow their own goals as well as uphold their liberty, as long as such pursuit does not injure other people or infringe on their freedom (Burchill, 2012). Liberalism is beneficial to an individual and the community in that it fosters freedom and respect for human rights. Moreover, it strives for equality, builds an interactive community where all members can participate freely for its betterment. Further, it fosters population diversity, whereby everyone is put onboard in spite of race, sexuality, or religion.

However, liberalism may lead to economic difficulty, especially where the government exercises excessive state control of the economy thus affecting foreign investment. Further, liberalism is seen to accept certain unhealthy and morally objectionable practices and issues, such as prostitution and homosexuality. Besides, too much government bureaucracy in the system may lead to excessive social protection, which may harm the overall economy as more people choose to stay on welfare instead of joining the workforce (Burchill, 2012). 

Postmodernism is viewed as being compatible with liberalism as people strive to recreate themselves in a bid to triumph in the market place (Patterson, 2014). The two ideologies tend to support the capitalism and wealth creation. Moreover, liberalism and postmodernism lead to deconstruction and anti-foundationalism thus undermining morality and social order. However, unlike liberalism, postmodernism bases freedom of speech as enforced neutrality, whereby people should not believe in anything that offends others with that applying to the converse. Further, proponents of liberality, unlike those of postmodernism tend to propose their own viewpoints as opposed to listening to others outside their school of thought (Patterson, 2014).

 

Doctrine of Specific Performance

he doctrine of specific performance is applied when a party breaches a contract, and requires the breaching party to perform a specific act they had agreed to perform under the contract’s terms (Miller & Jentz, 2010). A court usually grants specific performance when damages in form of money prove inadequate to compensate for the breach. 

Thel and Yorio (2011) note that the elements of specific performance include; existence of a contract because equity cannot be expected to enforce an invalid contract, the defendant must have failed to perform and the plaintiff must have suffered damages as a direct result. Moreover, an adequate remedy at law must be absent, whereby money damages alone are insufficient. Further, plaintiff’s performance of all conditions should be precedent to closing.

In the case of Rainier v Tarrington, the court may grant specific performance on account that the product on the contract is real estate therefore unique. Monetary damages would not be adequate compensation to the plaintiff because land and in this case real estate, is traditionally viewed as unique due to the fact that no two parcels of land or real estate are exactly alike (Thel & Yorio, 2011). Therefore, monetary damages would not allow the plaintiff to acquire the same house anywhere else. Conversely, on Marita’s refusal to sing in a night club does not amount to specific performance since it is a personal service contract, which would have prevented Marita from performing elsewhere during the contractual period (Thel & Yorio, 2011).

 In instances where the chattel is scarce and cannot be readily repurchased in the open market even though it is unique, specific performance is enforced (Miller & Jentz, 2010). Therefore the court may enforce specific performance on Edmund for breaching the contract to sell Juan a rare coin, which is rare and unique. Consequently, specific performance will be denied where monetary compensation for the loss would be adequate (Thel & Yorio, 2011). No specific performance would thus be awarded to Devalle after Cary refuses to sell him the 4% stake because monetary damages can be determined as adequate.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prejudice and Freedom

America of yesteryear was laden with prejudice whereby social mingling of races was prohibited, especially in the Southern states. There were signs everywhere which indicated facilities for white people and those for people of African descent. People form prejudices based on their lack of factual knowledge about a person or by ignoring the facts altogether. Prejudice was a fact of life, which was reinforced by violence and informal social pressure. This prompted a change of life for certain African-Americans, such as Richard Wright as portrayed in Black Boy as he searches for freedom.

The story focuses on a boy, Richard Wright, who rises to freedom through reading books. The narrative revolves around perseverance, prejudice, freedom and acceptance by giving the reader the chance to see the suffering and struggle of post-civil war African-Americans through the experiences of the boy determined to overcome the barriers in the society (Wright, 2009). Richard persevered to learn how to read in a society that discouraged African-Americans from reading in fear of a rebellion as knowledge imparts power to its acquirer. Further, the relationships Richard cultivates as he learns to accept the other people in the society amidst segregation lead him to freedom and out of prejudice. 

Prejudice is apparent as Richard is denied access to a public library simply because of his skin color. He devices a plan for freedom into the library by using Mr. Falk’s library card, who white men refer to as “the Pope Lover”, to read H. L. Mencken’s books (Wright, 2009). The library card presents Richard with the realization that he will never be the same again as it enables him to read to freedom and a better life in the north. The writer notes that Richard was poor and the books were expensive thus making reading inaccessible to him, which would be a setback to attainment of freedom (Miller & Carbo, 1997).

In The Library Card, Richard generalizes his personal experiences to inform the public how the society functions (Wright, 2009). He uses the theme of alienation to stress prejudice and the quest for freedom by the affected. Richard is alienated both from his family and the community by white people and fellow blacks. He fears the image of his white grandmother, his mother’s beatings and tries hard to avoid his father. To confront prejudice and isolation, Richard decides to rebel by killing a kitten, burning down a house, and disobeying the authority who try to raise under strict moral rule.

Moreover, Richard uses dualism as imagery to emphasize prejudice. This is shown by his use of black and white, such as the witnessing a white man beat a black boy and his dreams of a white boat. There are however, white people who are not prejudiced, for instance Mr. Falk who is seen to shake Richard’s hand in front of everybody and ironically he is the one who hands Richard the card to freedom. Shaking hands is used as a show of respect and friendship as it was unheard of in the racial America. Further, to find freedom people, such as Richard’s mother use religion though Richard himself somehow denounces it (Wright, 2009).  

Richard shows the level of humiliation people of color underwent in a white society and thus creates characters who try to seek dignity, autonomy and freedom even if it meant going to the North, where racial segregation was minimal. Freedom in contract to prejudice is gotten from books and religion, while prejudice is born out of premeditation and fear of the unknown. Freedom is realized at last when Richard manages to send his mother and brother up north from prejudice.

Differential Diagnosis for Migraines

In the evaluation of headaches, accurate and rapid diagnostic testing should be done to assist in establishing the basis for an effective treatment plan. The differential diagnosis would start with asking the patient about the headache history. A physical examination, laboratory tests and other diagnostic evaluations would follow to allow the physician to classify the headache as either primary or secondary for effective treatment (Lipton, 2011).

Tension-Type Headache, TTH is characterized by pain that is pressing and tightening whose intensity ranges for mild to moderate with no nausea (Bierman, 2011). Moreover, TTH is not intensified by physical activity although it may be accompanied by either sensitivity to noise or light. The headache lasts from 30 minutes to 7 days. New Daily Persistent Headache: The patient experiences unremitting daily headaches which get severe. Nausea, if present is normally mild although chances of photophobia and phonophobia may occur. Migraines: Headache is characterized by unilateral location, pulsating or throbbing quality, aggravation by physical activity, for instance walking, nausea or vomiting as well as photophobia and phonophobia.

The differential diagnosis of these types of headaches is crucial because each responds to different treatments. Migraines respond well to triptans. Daily prophylactic medication is recommended for severe attacks that are not responsive to abortive medication (Lipton, 2011). Drugs, such as beta blockers, propranolol, anticonvulsants divalproex sodium and topiramate may be administered. Moreover, educating patients about headache triggers, such as bright lights, weather changes, and stress is also important in its management.

Bierman (2011) asserts that it is crucial to ask the patient timing questions, such as the severity of the headache in a scale of 1-10, the duration the headache persists. Cause questions, such as aggravating, relieving, trigger, or predisposing factors as well as a family history of similar headaches. Moreover, response questions include the medication tried or used before. Grazzi and Usai (2011) note the tests a doctor may perform as; an eye examination, a physical examination of the head and neck to check for tenderness, a neurological examination to test for strength, coordination and mental function. Imaging test may also be performed in the form of CT-scans or magnetic resonance imaging.

 

Challenges for Intermodal Transportation System

Intermodal transportation involves moving of people or freight from one place to another by a sequence of at least two modes of transportation. Therefore, the system integrates various services and modes of transportation to enhance the efficiency of the entire distribution process (Vallespir et al., 2010). In intermodal system, shippers create transportation demand while carriers ensure supply in the intermodal network. In the process, conflict may arise amongst the players in the system thus affecting the performance of the systems.

One of the key challenges is the understanding of areas the trends will affect trade flow as well as the trends most likely to gain acceptance across all custody points. Moreover, bulks in commodity shipments especially in agricultural produce transportation is a challenge to the system. Further, the drayage fleets are short of drivers which has led to a capacity crunch within the intermodal system. The intermodal system lacks adequate innovations due to the low levels of research and development leading to limited value-increasing services at the terminal (Meisel, Kirschstein & Bierwirth, 2013). Competition and collaboration between terminals are some of the trends in the system. However, most countries do not have the infrastructure to exploit this trend thus posing a challenge to the intermodal system. 

An agile system comprises of terminals that have the capability of accommodating varying cargo quantities and types with minimal operation interruptions. This system utilizes technological applications and modified business practices to enhance productivity, efficiency and security within the terminal thus allowing flexibility (Meisel et al., 2013). Such flexibility ensures allocation of commercial throughput capacity and loading operations. Moreover, the system accommodates a vast number of vessels, for instance container, high speed sealift, break-bulk and can handle changes in cargo flow. Further, advanced communication and cooperation in the agile system ensures doubled capacity handling without investments in additional infrastructure (Vallespir et al., 2010).

 

Introduction to Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is the active process products go through from extraction of raw materials to finished product purchase. It entails planning, forecasting, purchasing, assembly, hauling, warehousing, logistics as well as sales and customer service (Sodhi & Tang, 2012). It is thus the duty of supply chain management executives to gain sustainable competitive advantage by ensuring products are made and delivered faster and cheaply. However, problems may occur in the process, such as natural disasters, labor disputes, terrorism, or bankruptcy of a supplier. This calls for strategies to ensure that disruptions are dealt with and no loss is incurred. 

To avoid a repeat of the situation that happened to Procter & Gamble after Hurricane Katrina, the supply chain management executives should elevate their level of disruption preparedness. P&G should do a delicate balancing act to keep inventory at appropriate levels by building inventory to ensure continual supply (Handfield & McCormack, 2008). This is however costly due to the warehousing costs involved but it can be worthwhile if disruption predictions are made with reasonable confidence. Moreover, P&G may opt for redundant suppliers because disruptions cannot happen to all the suppliers at the same time. Besides, P&G will become more prepared without a build-up of fast-depreciating inventory, lower disruption risk while preserving the economies of scale at its suppliers.

Moreover, P&G can ensure supply chain visibility and knowledge as well as system-wide awareness and capabilities to disruption issues. In preparing for a disruption, managers should list and prioritize events leading to disruption to mitigate the probability of disruption followed by listing the disruptions caused for recovery purposes (Sodhi & Tang, 2012). The supply management team should assess the risk and create a response team. Supplier options should also be reviewed and the plan tested regularly. Moreover, a track of events should be kept as well as backing up files.