Technology Can’t Save Supply Chains from Every Risk

The great technological advancements that have been made in recent years can make life a lot easier for businesses, but there are still some situations where it simply can’t help.

A number of disasters could throw a wrench in your supply chain. Fires, port strikes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and even terrorist attacks are just a few of the unpredictable occurrences that technology can’t save us from.

Nevertheless, managers can – and should – take some precautions to help diminish the impact of such scenarios when they do occur.

First of all, protecting sensitive information that flows from suppliers to manufacturers and vice versa is essential given the possibility of cyber breaches. Product safety and reliability must also be constantly ensured.

Companies also need to maintain a deep knowledge of their suppliers. Initial vetting is not enough; they must continuously monitor them to uncover potential vulnerabilities, such as an overreliance on sole sourcing.

Third parties can be used to help supplement data coming from suppliers and monitor supplier quality continuously. One element that should be given a lot of attention is ensuring humane working conditions at plants.

It’s also crucial to have a high level of oversight to ensure changes to product ingredients, sub-suppliers and the manufacturing process are communicated and researched. This can help avoid potential disasters brought about by the use of unapproved suppliers, which was reportedly the case in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building three years ago in Bangladesh.

Internal product safety committees and independent testing are good ways to go about ensuring he integrity of products, and individuals from several parts of the firm should all be involved and informed.

While none of these steps can help prevent a natural disaster, they can help keep overall risk in check. After all, nearly half of respondents in a the latest Business Risk Index by Travelers said they felt the world was going riskier, yet only a quarter of them felt they were doing a good job of preparing for it.

This blog post was based off an article from Supply Chain Brain. View the original here.