Five Techniques to Manage Supply Chain Risk

Risk has always been part of the supply chain. It’s a reality inside and outside the four walls of any organization. It’s no surprise then that as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) programs proliferate, they have naturally begun to address anticipated and unanticipated events occurring both upstream and downstream in the supply chain.

Upstream of an organization are the suppliers who create goods and services used in a company’s own operations. These include raw components or materials that flow into direct manufacturing as raw materials. There are also indirect products and services that facilitate the company’s actual operations.

The downstream supply chain efficiently distributes a company’s products or services to its customers. All contracted suppliers, both upstream and downstream, must be proactively managed to minimize financial, confidentiality, operational, reputational and legal risks.

You don’t have to look any further than recent headlines to see potential fallout here. Did Equifax have proper data liability insurance coverage in place before 143 million accounts were hacked? And even if they did have coverage, how much was their reputation and customer account credibility damaged? This is still playing out, so not even Equifax management yet knows the impact of the risks taken.

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To Woo Apple, Foxconn Bets $3.5 Billion on Sharp

The Apple iPhone transformed the technology industry by popularizing the smartphone and blazing a path to a mobile future. But to do it, the company needed an important ally: a penny-pinching Taiwan-based factory operator named Foxconn.

Employing hundreds of thousands of workers at vast facilities in mainland China, Foxconn figured out a way to assemble the iPhone at a cost low enough that middle-class Americans could afford it. The business offered low profit margins, but the work buffed Foxconn’s financial results and cemented its status as the world’s largest maker of hardware for companies like Apple and Sony.

Those relationships are now shifting — and Foxconn is betting heavily to keep up.

On Wednesday, Foxconn said it had struck a deal to acquire control of the Japanese screen maker Sharp for $3.5 billion, after weeks of negotiations and high-profile setbacks.

The deal, for a 66 percent stake in Sharp, is intended to make Foxconn a more attractive partner for Apple. The American technology company uses Sharp screens, which could give Foxconn added leverage in dealings between the two.

The screen is an especially lucrative piece of the smartphone, costing as much as $54 each, according to estimates by the research firm IHS. Sharp provides roughly 25 percent of the iPhone displays, IHS said.

Still, the Sharp purchase will saddle Foxconn with an ailing business that will take considerable money and effort to turn around, some analysts say. Reflecting those problems, the purchase price is $2 billion lower than a deal the two sides struck just last month, after Sharp disclosed the potential for costly problems — nearly $3 billion in potential liabilities — down the road.

But Apple has been diversifying its supply chain, giving some production contracts to other assemblers and component makers. And Foxconn is grappling with China’s rising labor costs and a slowdown in the global smartphone market.

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Resilinc to Unveil the Top 10 Supply Chain Risk Management Insights of All Time

The Top 10 Supply Chain Risk Management insights of all time are the most impactful conclusions, lessons learned, and heuristics that all SCRM practitioners should be acutely aware of in order to maximize their chance of success in achieving risk management and resilience performance excellence. Bindiya Vakil, founder and CEO of Resilinc, and Ann Grackin, CEO of ChainLink Research, will lead the discussion.

“These are the insights born from real-life experience in the trenches, battle scars, and “ah hah” moments,” said Vakil. “They are based on Resilinc and ChainLink Research company experience—working with the most complex supply chains in the world as solution providers, consultants, and practitioners in previous lives—as well as crowd-sourced contributions from risk thought leaders and luminaries in industry and academia.”

The top 10 insights will each be presented as important threads in an overall strategic-framework fabric. When implemented in their totality, the top 10 insights may form the backbone of a successful best-practice-driven SCRM program.

Participants in this Webcast will have the opportunity to:

1. Gain insights and best practices to improve SCRM and resilience program performance.

2. Apply insights as part of a strategic framework for success.

3. Benchmark their organization’s resilience program best practice adoption against the top 10 insight list.

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Seven Supply Chain Resolutions for 2015

Map your Extended Supply Chain: Our collective supply chain eyes were opened in 2011 as a result of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan, and then severe flooding in Thailand that decimated key suppliers in the high-tech sector.

Model Your Supply Chain: A relatively small but growing number of companies maintain an active network model of their supply chains that they use for on-going decision-making, from inbound supply flows to what products to make where.

Develop a Talent Strategy: Do you really have a plan for finding and developing supply chain talent? A few leaders do – but not many. A few years ago, Pepsico took a look at this – and wasn’t happy with what it found.

Start Benchmarking: In general, we do far too little benchmarking in the supply chain. I am referring not just to maybe participating in some survey or service that allows you to compare your results (sort of) with those of others, but meeting with companies to see how they do things, and swap and compare ideas and practices.

Review Your Technology Portfolio: Do you know exactly what software you have where? Do you have any “shelfware,” meaning software you paid for but never implemented, either in total or at certain locations?

Paint a Vision for becoming Demand-Driven: In the early 2000s Procter & Gamble came up with the “consumer-driven supply chain” concept, which the then AMR Research morphed into its demand-driven supply networks.

Start Lunch Time Education Meetings: I know a few companies – Campbell Soup used to be one of them and maybe still is – that hold weekly or monthly Friday “brown bag” lunch days focused on education. Could be an internal team member presenting insight into their area of operation.

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