Pension recommendations make UK strikes more likely – time to look at supply chain risk?

Regular readers will know that as an ex-civil servant myself I have a lot of affection and respect for the public sector. But the discrepancy between public and private sector pensions in the UK  could not continue as it has been.  So Lord Hutton's report seems to me to move things in the right direction, although eventually I'm sure we'll all be on defined contribution, SIPP type schemes.

However, that's neither here nor there in terms of our professional procurement focus.  What is significant is that the chances of major strike action inthe UK sometime this year has just increased considerably. Now that may not affect supply chains too much if it is 'just' a few civil servants walking out; but one could easily see it spreading to transport, utilities....

So it would seem to be an appropriate time to review your supply chain risk strategies, and think about what you might want to do to mitigate risks arising from strike action.  Increasing stock levels on raw materials. bought in goods or finished stock? Avoiding monopoly supply situations? More local sourcing (or perhaps less local sourcing!)

And the UK of course isn't the only country where the political and economic outlook is uncertain; Spain was downgraded by Moody's today, and no doubt there are more riots planned for Athens soon.  Even without considering the inflation and supply risks in commodities such as oil and metals, risk is going to stay at the top of the procurement agenda for some time yet..

Update 8 am

I wrote this post last night and before the news broke of the major Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, which rather puts the 'risk' of strikes into perspective.

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