CEVA Logistics
Case studies

Resiliency when crisis hits in Nashville

You can tell a lot about a partner by the way they handle a disaster

Project Overview

A devastating tornado wreaked havoc on our CEVA Logistics facility near Nashville, Tennessee in March 2020. Within three weeks after the tornado hit, the campus was 100% operational.

You can tell a lot about a partner by the way they handle a disaster

In the supply chain industry, we always try to prepare for the inevitable problem and have contingency plans in place. Most companies think in terms of missed supplier deadlines, missed shipments, manufacturing issues, or changes in demand.  What is difficult to plan for is Mother Nature!


Pictured here: CEVA Nashville Campus. Out of the campus’ seven buildings, three were completely destroyed and two sustained extreme damage.

CEVA Nashvilee post tornado

March 3, 2020

According to local news reports, at 12:45 a.m., a massive EF-3 tornado with winds of 165 mph carved a path of utter destruction through the Nashville community of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, the home of CEVA Logistics technology distribution campus.  The destruction was intense and widespread with two of the campus’ five buildings destroyed, two sustained heavy damage, and one structure remained relatively unharmed. 

At 1 a.m., Craig Hayes, Vice President of Operations received a phone call that the Nashville campus was completely devastated.  “Our first priority of course was the safety of our associates and their family,” stated Hayes.  “Our second priority was to notify our customers and advise them of our plan,” he continued, “at critical moments like this, it is all hands on-deck to ensure the continuity of our customer’s business”.

Customer Commitment Amidst Disaster

In the only building that survived damage, Hayes along with General Manager, Chris Cox and Facilities Manager, Ron Flesch began to implement their detailed recovery plan:

  • Mobilize HR and cross-functional team to contact all 1,200 associates to assess health and safety
  • Establish temporary HR command-center in local hotel to support associates, provide payroll assistance, and disseminate important information
  • Notify customers of the serious situation and status of facilities and materials/inventories
  • Arrange flights/meetings to bring customer executives to the campus that afternoon
  • Provide action plan outlining the steps necessary to keep supply chains moving and to rebuild the campus
  • In 12-48 hours, secure temporary mobile offices and lease an additional 340,000 sq. ft of warehouse space to reestablish destroyed operations
  • Implement plan to relocate one technology customer’s specialty operations to CEVA’s Atlanta, GA facility and bus skilled employees to that site on a weekly basis
  • Establish multiple daily team briefings between NORTAM Executive Leadership and Nashville team onsite to ensure all necessary resources are deployed to secure employee safety and get the facilities back up and running

“During a crisis, you either come together as one team or you fall apart,” says Dominik Dittrich, Executive Vice President of Contract Logistics. “It’s amazing how every single associate in Nashville and all across the Region united to ensure our colleagues, their families, and our customers were taken care of…this shows the true CEVA Logistics spirit and resiliency.”  

Craig Hayes added, “Just two days after the tornado we were able to ship our first package out the door. I truly believe our relationships with our customers are on a deeper level now because they know they can count on us to be their supply chain provider despite a natural disaster.”

Focus on Teamwork and Solutions

Within three weeks after the tornado hit, the campus was 100% operational. The recovery and rebuilding efforts will be ongoing for several months, but right now the Nashville team is part of the global solution to help tackle the spread of COVID-19. Extra safety measures have been implemented across the campus, including industrial cleaning, implementation of staggered shift schedules, as well as taking the temperature of all warehouse associates.

See the disaster recovery chronology here

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