Prime Advantage Blog

Overcoming the Top Risks in Your Supply Chain

Dan Grant on May 24, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Prime Advantage and riskmethods recently collaborated on a webinar for Prime Advantage Members highlighting some of the biggest threats in supply chain management today. The session was hosted by Bill DeMartino, General Manager of North America for riskmethods. A variety of topics were covered, including supply chain management myths, challenges, and solutions.

Supply chains are growing in scale and complexity, making a company’s ability to manage it more important than ever before. There’s a growing desire across supply chain management to make sure that anything that can be known, is known. It’s important that your organization has visibility into as much pertinent information as possible to ensure that it is ahead of any looming image, brand, or compliance challenge. And as countries continually update their own standards and regulations it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate the global supply chain. These forces are compelling organizations to become more proactive and process-centric in their risk management approaches. 

Businesses can be exposed to a wide array of threats, ranging from the severe like a telecommunications outage, to the lower impact (yet extremely important) issues like insolvency.

Supply chain threat slide.png 

Though wholly felt, most threats fly under the radar and go unseen. There may be a lot more turbulence occurring in your supply chain than you’re aware of, potentially causing shortages or quality issues.

As businesses move toward adapting better risk management solutions, a great place to start is process refinement. This involves first profiling risk, and then actively monitoring those threats in perpetuity. Companies need to fully understand the impact of those actors so they can allocate time and resources appropriately. This process should be applied to a variety of entities, such as tier one suppliers, warehouses, logistic hubs, manufacturing sites, and customer delivery sites. 

That end-to-end visibility should then be analyzed for all risk topics that could impact the viability or financial stability of the company. This could include: credit worthiness, CFO departure, patent infringements, strikes, or lawsuits. The next phase would be applying it to geopolitical threats, physical events like weather, power outages, and anything else that could have a material impact. And finally extending it to commercial impacts like wages and currency.

It’s a lot of work, dedication to thoroughness, and attention to detail. But comprehensive monitoring is the best solution to minimizing risk in the supply chain and sets the foundation to withstand the unexpected when it strikes.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Supplier and Member Best Practices

Dan Grant

Posted by Dan Grant

Daniel Grant is the President of Prime Advantage, a Chicago-based Group Purchasing Organization for mid-market manufacturers.

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