Supply Management Risk Management Needs to be Cranked to 11!

SI has been preaching the message of the need for strong supply chain risk management for a while now, given that the chances of your organization NOT experiencing a significant disruption over the next 12 months is about 1 in 10 and dropping fast. In fact, the doctor recently authored an entire risk management series for Ecovadis:

But given the uptake in deep supply risk management solutions, SI is not yet preaching to the choir. Don’t worry, this is not another post preaching from the pedestal, unless, of course, you are a vendor.

You see, even the best solution doesn’t have what you need to suitably address risks in today’s risk-laden supply chain. Consider the current enabling technology components, as addressed in the Supply Risk Management Landscape Report, co-authored by the doctor with the prophet and the maverick.

  • basic portal and information tracking capabilities which tracks all suppler and product info and allows a supplier to manage their end
  • risk analytics and reporting that focusses on relevant spend, supply, and supplier metrics that provide good risk indicators
  • risk intelligence feeds that report on current real-world (third-party) metrics and events that can effect your supply chain
  • commodity management enablement with price benchmarking and forecasting, availability projections, price risk exposure, etc.

These are good, but all these let you do is identify potential risks. Once a risk is identified, you need to do something about it. But a solution that only tracks, reports, augments, and projects — while it may give you some ideas — doesn’t let you do anything about it.

Some providers (like Resilinc) give you a command center that allow you to create disaster recovery plans for specific occurrences, or run what-if reports/scenarios based on decisions on how to mitigate a risk, but this doesn’t help you identify how to mitigate the risks appropriately.

And that’s why supply risk management platforms need to crank it to 11. And how will they do that?

The answer, as the doctor outlined in the aforementioned co-publication with the prophet and the maverick, is to also contain support for:

  • supply chain re-design and optimization based on decision optimization, supply chain modelling, predictive analytics, and “what-if” scenario planning

Now, not a single supply chain risk management solution supports even one of the four core capabilities required (although some will claim they do), but hopefully, now that the flashlight has been shone, they will … or maybe, just maybe, a true SSDO (strategic sourcing decision optimization) provider will hire a few risk experts and build a risk management platform on the right underpinnings. Only time will tell. The most important thing is that you realize when you go to market for a supply chain risk management solution is there is no perfect solution and more innovation is needed.