For the most part, supply chains are highly technical and efficient operations, and yet they’re still very vulnerable to disruptions, attacks and the loss of goods.
In the United States, over $35 billion is lost annually to theft and overseas; supply chains are at an even greater risk from thefts and violent hijackings. The U.S. has limited power over how security operations and procedures are executed in other countries. Due to the global nature of most supply chains, this limitation holds built-in vulnerabilities and complications.
The supply chain has to be shielded from those disturbances by establishing operations like counter-terrorism assessments, key elements identification and risk mitigation so the supply chain can avoid and recover swiftly from any disturbances.
Supply chain reviews should start with determining any risk that may disrupt the flow of goods from sources of raw materials, to the final destinations of finished goods. A supply chain security system should link up each and every essential point along the chain in a comprehensive manner.
Cargo Security Basics
Before embarking on the development of a security plan, supply chain managers need to secure support from the highest level of their organization. A good program will require access to financial and organizational frameworks, and that means getting the support of people in charge of those systems.
After gaining executive support, supply chain managers must coordinate with vendors and service providers to figure out which risks are most likely to be found within the supply chain, list them based on those with the highest chance of occurring and figure out which risks translate to the most disruption.
Businesses should also regularly conduct vendor audits, chart the supply chain and rank suppliers based on location, transportation methods, shipping port, service provider and each supplier’s secondary and tertiary network. Once risks are discovered and graded, shippers should create plans to handle deficient suppliers and other supply chain problems.
Finally, supply chain managers should offer security and damage mitigation training that addresses procedure, personnel, documentation and facility security.
A powerful way to not only increase security, but also boost productivity is to maximize visibility within the supply chain.
Visibility is having the ability to know where inventory is at any time and having actionable data to support stakeholders. Real-time information can also be applied to various points along the supply chain, from manufacturer to service provider to end customer, to eliminate overlap and enhance operations.
Due to the fact businesses often concentrate on capitalizing primary growth initiatives, many don’t have the IT infrastructure to guide dynamic supply chains. Gathering and identifying information that is essential, validating this data and communicating it in a manner that lets others take advantage of this visibility remains a fundamental challenge for companies of all sizes.
At ZDA, we help supply chain managers succeed by providing them with the staffing support they need. If your department or company is in need of a staffing solution, contact us today!