Supply Chain Risk Management: Are you prepared for tomorrow?

Business owners and managers must always keep one eye on the future. Today’s profitability means little if risk management plans are not in place. An effective supply chain management plan includes a set of strategies designed to manage everyday risks, as well as those unpredictable catastrophes.
Many business models include a long, somewhat convoluted supply chain. A good risk management plan will shorten it and keep it running smoothly under any circumstances. There are several things which this plan must include to be effective:
Assessment
 A good supply chain management plan starts by assessing the movement of supplies and goods to identify areas that can be improved and determine the areas most likely to encounter problems. The supply chain should be kept as direct as possible while allowing for quick and reliable switches to back-up plans. It is vital to focus beyond the problems which the chain is currently encountering and try to envision other risks.
Create A Thorough Plan
Once the risks have been assessed, a set of strategies is created to deal with these issues. Often this requires the implementation of redundant methods of transport, particularly for those links in the chain which are most “at risk” of failure. The need for these redundancies must be carefully determined, and they should only be implemented when there is a great risk of supply chain failure, since each will increase cost.
Keep It Flexible
 The supply chain management plan must be as flexible as possible. It is impossible to prepare for every risk. Allowing the links of the chain the flexibility to adapt to a wide variety of situations may prevent the chain from breaking entirely.
Reassess Regularly
 It is possible that some points are missed in the initial assessment. Also, in a constantly changing marketplace, it is important to stay on top of all new developments which may affect supply and demand. The effectiveness of the supply chain should be monitored continuously and new situations addressed immediately.

Supply chain risk management, when done properly, can help to reduce the chances of an interruption in the smooth transport of goods. By properly managing these risks, a company can increase the probability of maintaining a steady flow of goods to their customers. This, in turn, enables the business to generate a steady profit.

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