Top tips to build a robust supply chain

All businesses need to ensure its goods and services are procured at the lowest cost and meet the company’s needs in terms of timely delivery, quantity, quality, and location.

This is essential in not only providing the best customer experience, but also in ensuring you stay on top of your competitors, as consistency in the supply chain is key. However, the supply chain management world is constantly evolving and it is key to keep pace with both market expectations as well as opportunities.

Choosing and procuring the right technology is just the beginning of the variety of challenges that are present when managing and securing an IT supply chain. Organisations need to ensure effective asset management configuration and deployment are continuing to take shape, while maintaining technology standards and continuity of supply.

Here are some top tips in managing and creating a robust and effective supply chain, with experience and advice from the largest FTSE listed British IT service provider with over a 30-year heritage in IT and information enablement.

Be clear on expectation and deliverables

Many organisations will issue identical performance indicators and market assessment techniques on all engagements they have, irrespective of the technology being purchased or outcome desired by the business.

This is a detrimental approach as nuances and subject matter expertise are unable to be imparted by the partner that could potentially save money, time or actually mitigate risk.

Truly assess each engagement and accurately as well as realistically assess the desired outcomes/output that you wish to achieve, in comparison to work loads and true capabilities of workforces and systems.

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6 in 10 businesses experienced at least one supply chain disruption in Asia Pacific in 2016

One in four businesses exceed ‎US$1 million in losses, but almost half of survey respondents in Asia Pacific did not insure their losses.

Zurich Insurance has revealed the key Asia Pacific findings of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) “Supply Chain Resilience Report 2016”. Despite six out of ten organisations experiencing at least one supply chain disruption during the past year, with one in four exceeding ‎US$1 million in losses, the report found that almost half of survey respondents in Asia Pacific did not insure their losses.

Partnering with BCI for the eighth year, the annual report is regarded as one of the most authoritative benchmark reports in this business area. The key findings for Asia Pacific (APAC) this year are:

  1. IT/Telecom outages was named as the number one cause of supply chain disruption
  2. One in four organisations experienced cumulative losses of over ‎US$1 million
  3. 46% of organisations do not insure their losses, meaning they bore the full brunt of the cost
  4. Only 30% of disruptions occur with an immediate supplier
  5. 48% responded that top management have made commitments to supply chain resilience

Read more 6 in 10 businesses experienced at least one supply chain disruption in Asia Pacific in 2016

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Managing the Risks of Multinational Supply Chains

Managing supply chain risks is critical to the success of any business.

Although, the importance of supply chain risk management is perhaps most clear in Asia Pacific with its high growth rate, shifting industry trends, increasingly sophisticated consumers and expanding businesses.

An Overview

With these marketplace dynamics comes greater interconnectivity of multinational risks. According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Asia Pacific includes nine of the world’s top 15 countries importing and exporting intermediate goods.

Companies in the region depend upon goods and services from companies in other countries in order to successfully operate their businesses, and vice versa. As the region becomes more interconnected and trade flows continue to increase, protecting valuable supply chains from both existing and new risks becomes critical to the success of companies based there.

However, managing these risks can be challenging. Today’s supply chains are becoming deeper and spread over more countries. Knowing exactly what, where and how connections can impact a company’s business can be difficult.

It is not uncommon for companies to have supply chains that go down several layers, beginning with one supplier or distributor which is dependent upon a second, which in turn depends upon a third and so on. A problem at any of these levels has the potential to disrupt a company’s business operations.

As a colleague of mine once explained: “You are only as good as your weakest link.” So it is important to have clear line of sight to all of the links in a company’s supply chain. Typically, issues such as quality control and incomplete or late delivery are top of mind when considering problems with the potential to disrupt a supply chain. There is another risk that is often underestimated, but can be equally as damaging – financial failure.

Read more at Managing the Risks of Multinational Supply Chains

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