Supply Chain Risk Content

3 steps that IT buyers can take now to mitigate supply chain challenges from the Suez Canal, Brexit and WFH

suez canal

The first quarter of 2021 marked one of the biggest global logistics crises of the last decade. Ongoing delays from the pandemic, the aftermath of Brexit and the unpredictable Suez Canal blockage have meant supply chains, especially in Europe, have continued to experience fluctuating lead times and limited stock — with IT buyers some of the worst affected. With product availability unlikely to improve until the second half of the year, here are some of the need-to-know movements that are influencing key IT product categories, and the steps buyers can take to mitigate and overcome any challenges.

Spend Friends podcast: Supply chains need offense and defense to monitor risk, CEO Gary Lynch says

Offense and defense aren’t just terms relevant to sports. Business organizations are also looking for strong offense and defense in their supply chains, according to Gary S. Lynch, the CEO and Founder of The Risk Project.

Although this type of offense and defense is related to cost and value rather than a baseball situation, like the number of runners on base. This shift in mindset is one example of the ways organizations have placed a higher priority on supply chain risk management in the last year or so, Lynch said.

Last week, Lynch was a guest on Spend Friends, a monthly video podcast hosted by Bill Michels, the VP of Operations — Americas at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) USA, and Pierre Mitchell, Spend Matters’ Chief Research Officer. Its goal is to focus on all procurement matters under the sun, like spend management, supply chains and other topics. Lynch joined to discuss supply chain risk management.

Covid pandemic — a forerunner for the impact of Brexit on consumers and the supply chain?

Scurri supply chain

With the UK leaving the EU customs union and single market, new bureaucracy is on the way, whether there is a deal or not. From the EU point of view, the UK becomes a “third country” – we just don’t know whether it will be one where a trade deal is in place.

Now more than ever, the supply chain needs a smart, well-coordinated multi-carrier strategy. Capacity is tight, volumes are high, and peak season surcharges are unprecedented. But to truly optimize multi-carrier parcel shipping, shippers need to go beyond rating, rate shopping and label printing, and analyze their shipping data to answer the question: how can I get the most out of my carrier network? Digital optimization is not only an increasingly important sales channel but it can also help companies adapt cost structures and make each step of the value chain better, faster and cheaper. For example, digitization can enable new logistics and sales-fulfilment options, fuel innovative ways of customer acquisition, and help predict and manage inventory to create a more resilient supply chain. The fundamental enabler to all this will be data — the transparency, governance and accuracy of which have never been more important.

How procurement can lead amid a fractured global economy

supply chain AI

A redrawing of global supply lines is under way. Amid this uncertainty, resilience is the new supply chain imperative. Across industries, there is growing recognition that managing supply chains for maximum efficiency hampers companies’ ability to respond to risk events. And the frequency of such disruptions is rising, with a recent McKinsey Global Institute survey showing that companies now expect severe supply chain disruptions every 3.7 years. Yet when resilience can mean many things to different industries, how should leaders prioritize?

Enno Lueckel, VP at Scoutbee, talks about the building blocks of a resilient supply chain. To reap the benefits of resilience, such as improved flexibility, responsiveness and agility, companies must first make their supply chains transparent and diversified. And artificial intelligence can provide a much-needed boost to procurement’s data capabilities.

Supply chain workplace safety improvements — results by region


Supply chain risk contractor management firm, Avetta, has examined 10 years’ worth of hundreds of thousands of safety data points from within its supply chain risk management platform of 87000 suppliers, and has produced a global report on safety incidents. It finds, using its own data as a benchmark, that overall firms using cloud-based supply chain risk technologies can reduce the number of safety incidents and lost work days by as much as 55% compared to industry averages. Some have seen a 7% to 12% reduction in workplace safety incidents year-on-year for up to 10 years. What’s interesting about the analysis is that it reports results by region, and has made available graphs showing safety improvements for each

The Hidden Procurement & Supply Chain Benefits of Chinese/US Cross-Border Swine Deals (Part 2)

As the NYT pointed out in a column highlighting some of the details (and regulatory scrutiny) surrounding the recently announced acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International, a partially state owned/influenced Chinese firm, closure of this deal in particular is not a given. But something we can take away from the proposed transaction regardless is not just Western capacity in the agricultural and food supply chain, but also the value of enhanced supply chain visibility and risk standards in driving deals and valuations in these areas.