From the drive-through window to the supermarket shelves, businesses are suffering at the hands of broken supply chains.
Earlier this year, fast-food chain KFC disappointed customers across the country when they temporarily closed hundreds of stores due to a chicken shortage. Then food and drink manufacturers experienced tough times from the carbon dioxide shortage, leaving pubs, grocers and butchers empty-handed.
These companies aren’t alone—65 per cent of organisations across the globe experienced at least one supply chain interruption last year, according to a recent survey by the Business Continuity Institute.
And business continuity and supply chain disruption has come into the spotlight most recently with warnings of disruption to food and medicine supplies in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit.
In light of these events, it is vital to equip your organisation with proper supply chain and business continuity planning. Follow these practices to keep your supply chain strong and continue operations during disaster:
- Develop a supply chain risk management framework by answering the following questions about your organisation:
- Who are your critical and high-risk suppliers?
- What are the potential impacts of supply disruption?
- Where are potential vulnerabilities in your supply chain?
- Are all key risks managed effectively in your supply chain?
- Are your employees promoting value-enhancing activity?
- Create a risk monitoring routine by participating in ‘horizon scanning’, which entails identifying early warning signs of disruption in your supply chain and implementing mitigation strategies before the disruption becomes severe.
- Categorise your suppliers on a scale of ‘risk to revenue’. This practice will keep you aware of which suppliers pose the greatest threat to production, as well as which offer the most benefit.
- Develop strong relationships with suppliers to ensure quality communication at all times—especially in the event of any supply chain disruption problems.
- Update your supply chain risk management plan at least once a year to stay informed of any major changes or potential for future disruption. Remember: your supply chain can change at any time.
In addition to developing a robust supply chain, it is important to possess a strong business continuity plan and purchase appropriate business interruption cover in the event of a disruption.