Weathering the storm
To implement the emergency plan, it was key for the team to have a firm grasp on the plant’s current inventory. “We had to understand exactly what materials we had and where they were, and then minimize storage requirements for them,” Danna added. “We emptied what we could and filled the tanks with water so they wouldn’t float away.”
With the help of the Syngenta regional office in Greensboro, N.C., the Omaha plant funnelled some production to other facilities. The regional office was able to help with procurement, too: Sandbags, pumps and trucks were hard to find around Omaha at that time.
Another challenge was to staff a 24/7 operation for the four months the flooding threat lasted. “People worked a lot of extra hours,” Danna says, “but they did it for the team.”
This team approach netted a win-win for Syngenta and its customers. “We missed no deliveries,” Militti said.
All contingencies need to be mapped out ahead of time, a lesson well learned in Omaha. “It pays huge dividends to be prepared,” Danna said. Now the Omaha employees have a thorough emergency response plan they use as a template. They review and update it annually, always adhering to that old, but wise adage: “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”