Our Association's Value During a Global Pandemic

The world, over the course of the past year, has experienced an unprecedented global convergence of: a pandemic, social and political unrest, and economic devastation. It’s a fair question to ask: Did TAPA AMERICAS demonstrate its value during this critical time? Did our association effectively respond when global supply chains were threatened by these seemingly unforeseeable threats?
The resounding conclusion is that the value of membership within our association was never more apparent than in this past year.
For more than 20 years, the Transported Asset Protection Association's (TAPA) ongoing mission has been to bring together manufacturers, logistic service providers, law enforcement agencies, insurers, and security service providers to minimize supply chain disruptions and loses, as well as optimize our members' supply chains' resiliency.
During these unusual times, did we make our supply chains better, safer, and more effective for our companies, people, and business stakeholders? The answer is yes - as we did what we do best. We effectively reached out to our members, industry colleagues from within the supply chain industry, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition, Rx360, Healthcare Ready, and other public and private industry knowledge leaders to strengthen our collective resources.
Some of the disinformation, created by revolving news cycles and various social media outlets, created reasonable concern amongst the membership. In concert with our industry and government partner experts we endeavored to evaluate the gaps in factual information.
We knew we needed to vet all sources of intelligence to ensure it was legitimate - and that fact-checking and source vetting would need to be a global effort. It was necessary to build trust with our members - to minimize disruption in their businesses and provide clarity, utility, and resources to their company employees, leadership, and customers.
To successfully achieve those goals, we needed more than just ourselves. That’s one of the more significant benefits of the TAPA “network”, which includes the chapters in both EMEA and APAC. Also, our relationships with other trade associations and government entities provided a brain trust of experts with whom we could work with to ensure transparency and legitimacy in what we all were seeing.
We knew that our "trusted alliances" demonstrated that the relationships we formed were grounded in mutual respect and integrity. These trusted relationships helped us be able to disseminate worthwhile intelligence updates, chapter information, and access to resources - shared through our association’s various means of communication: respective websites, flash alerts, and social media platforms.

Quarantines, government and corporate health and safety policies, and border closings reduced our members' support staff. Knowing that we established easy-to-access tools for supply chain security professionals, logistics providers, and transportation companies to ease that burden. Some examples included:
We designed a "Covid-19 Toolbox" on the TAPA Americas web site's homepage and updated it throughout the day, as new information became available. Daily correspondences went to members with links to the toolbox and requests for worthwhile input and feedback.
Our Board of Directors in the Americas made themselves available to members 24/7 to offer assistance, answer questions, or provide peer-to-peer support and encouragement. Law Enforcement members extended their help and local intelligence in advising our members of threats in their respective areas.
A number of our Security Service Provider members offered no cost use of their intelligence reporting, tracking tools, and other product services to all within the Association – no matter what the size of the company.
The Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition utilized its previously developed "PCSC Alerts" and shared them daily. In support of the industry, PCSC lifted their "members-only" requirements for the alerts, making them available to everyone.
Chuck Forsaith, Vice President within the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition) was the conduit of that information share between the pharmaceutical industry and TAPA. One of a variety of SCS experts making themselves available for consult during this time, Chuck was on many people’s speed dial.
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) shared their bulletins with the supply chain community at large and encouraged the cross-sharing of their information throughout numerous government organizations.
Healthcare Ready helps strengthen healthcare supply chains by collaborating with public health and private sectors by addressing pressing issues before, during, and after disasters.
Among their many services, they support supply chain operations, including demand for pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and issues related to workforce, business continuity, and border restrictions.­
Healthcare Ready offered consultation on the global response efforts to contain the outbreak, including tracking the impacts of travel advisories and quarantine recommendations. This resource was critical as our TAPA members supported their colleagues overseas and offered comfort to families.
You will notice that this section is not titled "in conclusion" as this challenge is far from over. We all remain cautiously optimistic that the light at the end of this tunnel is not an oncoming train but rather the light on the other side of this unusually dark time.
In the coming months we should all take the opportunity to conduct a full review of activities in 2020  and evaluate our actions as well as plans for the future - to be better prepared for the possibility of another perfect storm.
While there is much we don't know, what we do (and have measurable evidence of) is that our relationships, resources, and trusted colleagues all came together in a collaborative, supportive, and unselfish effort to lift our industries and communities during very difficult times. While this effort continues, there is a feeling of confidence that our collaboration remains a source for a trusted, transparent, and authentic platform for all the links in our important global supply chains.