Supply chain interruptions can become an obstacle that put critical deadlines, business goals, and reputation at risk. The worst possible outcome, your mission-critical operations can come to a prolonged halt. Though, if you have a business continuity or disaster recovery plan that is well optimized and exercised using scenarios beforehand, you can re-establish your supply chain faster. Even better, exercising with reliant suppliers during planning phases can further enhance your organization’s ability to recover.  

Supply chain disruptions have the extravagant ability to impact the economy resulting in inflation, shortages, goods waiting at ports, and factory shutdowns. Since, the emergence of the pandemic, supply chain disruptions have only swelled. In the example of the toilet paper crisis, early in the pandemic. Panic buying and hoarding clearly caused a disturbance and interruption in the supply chains impacting a lot of organizations. 

Businesses have very well acquainted with the COVID-19 pandemic, but its ripple effects are still to be considered. Bear in mind that we surround by more supply chain disruptions caused by natural disasters, civil wars, trade wars, wars, and other threats remain.  

Here 6 categories of risks that are vulnerable to supply chains continuity:

  1. Natural disasters: Earthquakes, extreme weather, climate change, floods, and hurricanes.
  2. Man-made disasters: Wars, civil unrest, purposeful destruction of properties, fires, and explosions.
  3. Reputational and compliance issues: Non-compliance to regulatory frameworks, sustainable procurement, and conflict of interest.
  4. Cyber and security attacks: Data theft, insider attack, and ransomware.
  5. Financial and company viability: Force majeure and revenue outlook.
  6. Geopolitical issues: Civil disorder and tariff hikes.

Goal: Become Proactive and Not Reactive  

Speed matters when you are in faced with supply chain interruptions. In simple terms, the faster you react to disruption, the better your chances of recovering sooner. This remains one of the top reasons for ideal risk and crisis management techniques that are backed with automated software that alarms your organization of crises in real-time. 

You learn of disruptive threats in advances by monitoring and assessing risks using intelligence and data, including suppliers and supply paths, weather forecasts, financial indicators, logistic management, and trade union activities. Furthermore, observing shifting consumer behaviour patterns may propel you ahead of your potential competition.  

Easier said than done. We understand. Therefore, here are operational strategies to manage supply chain disruptions from business continuity professionals to understand risks and operational blind spots.  

#1 Stay vigilant to supply chain disturbances and equip proactive crisis management plans 

Equipping crisis management and business continuity plans helps you make the right decisions at the wrong times, especially when you can’t afford errors and mistakes. Moreover, a disaster recovery plan helps you identify crucial points such as whereabouts to move your supplies and how.  

Robust enterprise resilience solutions foster companies with ingenuity, flexibility, and resilience to swiftly revamp resources and operations when an anomaly resurfaces on the radar. An up-to-date business/operational resilience software backed with next-generation technologies can alleviate assessment completion processes, especially during business impact assessments or threat risk assessments. The autonomous characteristic holds the potential to locate threats in advance, identify mission-critical operations, recognize effective business continuity plans, and inform stakeholders. 

#2 Repel supply chain failures in the first place 

Someone said prevention is better than cure. The same applies when planning your company’s overall resilience. For instance, you can carry spare parts if your machinery or equipment breaks down. Similarly, manufacturers can stock up on extra inventory for a situation of the supply network breaking down. Thinking and taking one step ahead of the disruption should be your prior goal to achieve operational resilience. Measure weak links and vulnerabilities both internally and externally of your organization and work towards strengthening them. Some of the ways to do so: 

  • Promote sub-tier transparency into your supply network. 
  • Deploy tools to actively monitor new and potential threats for all risk categories and scope. 
  • Re-assess supplier locations and viability. 
  • Try to expand your supply chain when and where possible.   
  • Obtain proof of business continuity plans 

#3 Include supply chain disturbances into your business continuity strategies 

Since supply chain disruptions have become regular and severe, you as an organization can’t afford to be unmindful by being unrehearsed for potential risk and interruption events. Expenditures sustained by the losses during a business emergency can be much higher than advancing in a supply chain crisis management solution. It is recommended to appreciate supply chain disruption strategies in your disaster recovery and business continuity management solutions. Strategic planning secures preparedness ahead of an emergency, reduces risk, and progresses resiliency. Furthermore, you receive insights and information on whether the greatest threats are with customers or suppliers.  

Robust supply chain crisis management involves recognizing potential interruptions, evaluating risks, and mitigating consequences. Enterprise resilience software that provides analytical insight can help you avoid disruptions before they take place. Responding faster and being one step ahead before the risk is imperative. As business threats advance in nature, organizations must follow the same lead. Future-proof business operations not only sustain large-scale supply chain disruptions and competition but leads you to expansion, growth, and improved business processes.