Preparation involves stress-testing your plans to find out where they can fail.
But in the aftermath, the power infrastructure was rebuilt and has been remarkably reliable. We’ve had multiple polar vortex winters since then, and thankfully we have not had any issues with electricity or heat.
There is an understandable logic to Texas not winterizing its power grid, given that the state usually doesn’t have to deal with severe or sustained winter weather. But given the ongoing effects of climate change and the difficulty of stating with certainty what weather can and can’t happen in a given area, saying “we don’t have to worry about that” is an increasingly risky proposition.
What does this have to do with food and beverage manufacturing? Simply this: How many times over the last year have you found yourself saying “oh, we do have to worry about that”?
The ongoing pandemic has hit food and beverage processors in a lot of different ways, and many of them have learned the hard way where their weak spots were. This is an industry that rightfully prides itself on being prepared to perform even in the worst case, but most of the time the worst case doesn’t present itself. When it does, we find out in a hurry who had a plan—and who was actually prepared.
Plans are great and necessary, of course. But preparation involves taking a plan and stress-testing it in every imaginable way to see where it breaks down and how those breakdowns can be avoided in a real-life situation. It means putting aside feelings and egos and being honest about what will work, what won’t work, and where you need to build in redundancy. It means acknowledging that you have blind spots based on previous experiences and finding ways to ask yourself what the worst-case scenario truly is and how you will respond to it.
Plans are great. Preparation is essential. Which do you have available to you when something goes wrong? FE