Already in the midst of grappling with oil price volatility affecting ongoing transportation costs, Fortune 1000 companies are also feeling the sting of the latest natural disasters wreaking havoc on their global supply chains—the Chilean and Icelandic volcanoes and residual effects from the Japan tsunami.

Enterprises' ability to proactively guard against and mitigate these types of unforeseen risks, which can cost a company millions of dollars, is imperative. Companies can strategically utilize technology to optimize their supplier activities and sidestep unexpected supply chain hiccups without going into a tailspin each time a natural disaster occurs—namely through improved predictability and enhanced flexibility.