Modern supply chain enemies commonly belong to one of the following groups:
From the manufacturing floor to the consumer’s hands, any of the following areas could become a target.
Source: Supply Chain Risk 2020: New Worries, Forbes, October 6, 2017
As technology, shifting trade policies, the geopolitical landscape and global commerce cross paths, supply chain threats emerge. They are numerous, and often unpredictable, like earthquakes, hurricane, and other natural disasters. We’ve grouped them into six threat categories.
- The application of policies, procedures and technology to protect both physical and digital assets from theft, damage, terrorism, piracy, and cybercrime.
- The means to stop the unauthorized entry of illegal, counterfeit, and adulterated products into the supply chain before they reach consumers.
When planning your company’s supply chain protection strategy, concentrate first on identifying those points, gaps and cracks where it’s most vulnerable, and then work on protecting potential targets such as:
Defeating potential threats means staying one… make that two … steps ahead of your adversaries. There are many field-tested best practices at your disposal to increase your resilience. Use them to link your people, processes and technology to build a layered defense that protects your supply chain assets. Let’s review a few.
Understanding the following is essential in getting the data necessary for an effective supply chain security program.
Use information assembled in the field to understand if your supply chain breaches primarily occur during daily and known business.
Based on your risk assessment inputs, you can enter the four phases of continuous supply chain security improvement.
There is no formal Supply Chain Security Maturity Model, yet anyway. But there are several industry standard maturity models that help frame the discussion. The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a widely used software industry standard for software quality assurance, based on the degree of formality of processes and practices. The model is very complex and mirrors much of what is needed in supply chain nicely.
Level 1: Initial
You are essentially just starting your assessment. You know you have a problem, but how big is it?
Level 2: Managed
Basic and reactive. This can be thought of as ad hoc “projects” to deal with supply chain security issues.
Level 3: Defined
The assessments have targeted critical initial areas, and companies know where to start focusing on for supply chain issues. Formalized planning and response has been initiated.
Level 4: Managed
Organizations have effectively filled in the “gaps” in their supply chain. This means internal and external controls are in place to proactively, and very quickly respond to and remediate issues.
Level 5: Optimizing
The “what, where, when, how, who” of the risk assessment is fully known and active processes in place and in motion for every level of the supply chain. New and unknown forces will always appear, but the company that has reached Level 5 will be able to detect and act almost immediately to these threats.
Securing your supply chain against potential disruption requires time, commitment, due diligence and dynamic planning.
Approach building your defenses on the premise that your supply chain will be breached. While dealing with the threats of today, keep an eye on the next wave that are emerging. With the likes of Amazon, Google and IBM warehousing mountains of data for other companies in the cloud, any disruption in their supply chains would have a domino effect on the global supply chain.