Six Steps to Secure Global Supply Chains

Supply chains are the lifeblood of retailers, distributors and manufacturers, yet threats abound all over the world. With globalization making supply chains longer and more complex, the risks keep increasing.

Terrorism has been the major focus (and cost) of supply chain security since 9/11, even though those threats to supply chains are remote. There are more immediate and disruptive threats more likely to impact supply chains — for instance, Hurricane Katrina, the toy recalls, the Minneapolis bridge collapse. In fact, a recent beef recall forced a nationally known meat company out of business.

Properly securing supply chains goes beyond mitigating risk; it also makes them more flexible and efficient. A 2006 study by Stanford University, the National Association of Manufacturers and IBM found that improvements in supply chain security led to:

  • 38 percent reduction in theft, loss, or pilferage
  • 12 percent increase in reported on-time delivery
  • 14 percent reduction in excess inventory
  • 49 percent reduction in cargo delays
  • 29 percent reduction in transit times

Step 1. Identify the Threat

Step 2. Create a Disruption Map

Step 3. Design Security and Recovery Plans

Step 4. Leverage Technology


Step 5. Test, Test, Test

Step 6. Reevaluate Risks

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