The Perfect Storm

Imagine you run a hospital.  One of your responsibilities is staffing, making sure there are enough nurses and doctors.

Then the country is hit by a flu epidemic, you are inundated by sick people, demand soars through the roof.  It gets worse, your staff get sick as well, they take time off.

Not only do you have a rise in demand, you also have a fall in capacity.  How do you cope?  The truth is you can’t, it is too late.  The only way out of this hole is not to fall into it in the first place; make sure your staff are vaccinated, educate people how to self treat, set up a special circumstances overtime policy…

This isn’t just a healthcare problem though:

If you run a factory and have a demand spike (in a long hot summer people just keep on buying BBQ’s) you can’t stop to carry out routine maintenance on your machines, capacity falls as machines break down.

If you ran a call centre and have a demand spike (a misprint on all your bills and lots of calls) your staff will get fed up with the constant queue of complaining customers.  Capacity falls when they pull a sicky.

What would your perfect storm look like?  Have you got a plan to make sure you don’t drown?


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