Getting Started With Supplier Risk Management


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Businesses must put more effort into pre-planning for business interruption according to a survey by Zurich Insurance and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). They are concerned about supply chain disruption and term it a “blind spot”. We are concerned too. Zurich recommends mapping out your supply chain and quantifying each supplier by financial stability, geopolitical issues, et al. If you have a lot of global suppliers, this could be a tall order. I think Zurich is sitting in an “ivory tower” and not a “SCM Control Tower“.

So we started to look at other ways to assess risk and found Dr. David Simchi-Levi of MIT. Dr. Simchi-Levi has developed what he calls a Risk Exposure Index™

Dr Simchi-Levi takes the approach of understanding the nature of various risks, quantifying the supply chain risk and finally by addressing these risks through supplier segmentation. Risks range from the controllable execution problems or “known-unknown” to the uncontrollable natural disasters called “unknown-unknown” (which he refers to as “black swans“).

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