07 February 2020

Assess your supply chain resilience

By Paul Hastings

Supply chain resilience is an important factor to consider in improving the way you manage your business. Today’s supply chains are complex. They are often global, heavily regulated and disrupted by external factors such as transportation issues, weather, changes in regulation, price changes and political concerns.

When you factor in current mega-trends of changing technology, customer choice and demand, accelerating urbanisation and resource management; supply chains must continue to evolve and adapt. Despite this, many companies do not look at how resilient their supply chains are on a regular basis. This increases the risk of disruption to the planning and control of internal and external operations and processes which can lead to serious consequences.

Do your suppliers have continuity plans in place?

Many organisations do not know if their key suppliers have business continuity plans in place, resulting in many them experiencing a major disruption to their supply chain each year. These events occurered primarily for two reasons: key stakeholders in the supply chain not being adequately assessed by both themselves and the customer as to whether they could achieve the planned objectives; and because they were not resilient enough to respond when these events took place.

Putting in place flexible contingency plans help prevent any additional costs and loss of revenue when these disruptions occur, making it easier to manage business risks associated with your supply chain.

Be proactive about managing business processes

Being resilient means more than just responding after the event, it’s about being pro-active and shaping a strategy of supply chain resilience that focuses on sustained agile performance that remains focused on the business operations. This means adopting a methodology that is focused on identifying and managing the challenges that external factors and internal oversights can lead to.

One way to do this is to implement a robust business management system to streamline fundamental processes, something which everyone has access to. When key strategies are in place to manage both the everyday and the exceptional risks by continual assessment and review of the supply chain, continuity will be enhanced and in turn, vulnerability reduced. This, however, requires involvement from all parties involved in the supply chain – a collaborative approach. Everyone must take responsibility to reduce and prevent undesired effects and to achieve continual improvement.

The benefits of a resilient supply chain

Key risks in the supply chain such as business risks, social, government and climate factors, customer demands and supplier stability must be identified and effectively managed. Organisations that have strong supply chain resilience can respond to adversity much quicker, and in doing so perform better than their competitors. Successful organisations also understand their ability to survive, adapt, recover and grow. They are resilient and able to resist supply chain disruption through avoidance and containment methods.

Putting a resilient supply chain in place puts your organisation ahead of the competition, moving the way you manage risk from reactive to proactive, giving customers a positive outlook of your operations.

Contact me at paul.hastings@ideagenplc.com to talk about how we can help you manage your supply chain risks and implement resistance and recovery plans, helping you maintain supply chain resilience and be competitive in your field.

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