Risk and Uncertainty should be front and centre in the mind of every buyer and supply chain manager these days. Natural disasters are at an all time high, we’re still feeling the impacts of supply chain slowdowns and shutdowns during the pandemic, and political instability globally is introducing new headaches into your already fragile supply chains.
You need to maintain a handle on what’s going on in your supply base, and extended supply chain. In the beginning, this was an SRM/SXM solution which maintained information on your tier 1 suppliers, the products they supplied you, their typical on-time performance, and basic financial information. Over time these added basic risk metrics / 3rd party risk data which was supposed to give you some insight into how risky your supply base was, but considering this was usually financial information, it wasn’t a very good solution.
Then we got transparency solutions — and you know many of the big names here, which include Everstream, Interos, Resilinc, etc. — which allowed you to track your supply chain down multiple tiers to the source. Over time, these added news monitoring and event monitoring so you could get indicators of potential issues from news articles (which could include labour issues, for example) and nearby natural disasters (hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, etc.). Properly configured and maintained, this gave an organization instant insight into a potentially disruptive event and allowed them to take immediate action if necessary.
This was great, at least before the pandemic, because if you had 2 to 3 months of notice that your supply was going dry for a while (due to a fire, flood, or major plant damage), or longer, you could instantly switch to your secondary supplier (if you were dual-sourcing for risk mitigation) or start looking for a new source of supply. But now that supply chains are still stretched thin, supply choices are limited, raw materials are in more limited supply than ever, and supply chain cycle times in many industries are still double to quadruple what they used to be, a warning is not enough.
You need to do more than monitor the supply base, you ned to mitigate risk of disruption IN the supply base. It doesn’t matter if your risk preparedness is A+ if your supplier’s risk preparedness is F. A disruption in your supplier is a disruption to you, regardless of what plans you do and don’t have. This is where Supply Risk Solutions comes in. Not only are they one of the oldest (and first SaaS) solutions in the supply risk monitoring space (dating back to 2007), and one of the first to offer full supply chain transparency, but the first to go from transparency to disruption prevention. By ensuring your suppliers do proper risk planning, mitigation, and preparedness, your disruptions can be reduced up to 60%. That’s right. Sixty Percent!
While you can’t guarantee a disruption free supply chain — since you can’t predict (or prevent) natural disasters, political embargoes from disturbed dictators (or global reactions against them), or significant economic events (such as bank failures) which send shocks through the system — you can eliminate preventable disruptions and minimize the impacts of those non-preventable disruption events with proper identification and mitigation planning.
This is where Supply Risk Solutions is unique — it’s deep focus on enabling suppliers to identify areas of risk that could cause disruptions and providing them education, training, and resources to address those risks. Supply Risk Solutions does this based upon 16 years of supplier data that they have collected and correlated to disruptions. Based on this long-term deep analysis, they have developed and optimized a list of key indicators, and standard supplier surveys for multiple industries that collect this indicator data.
In addition, as they directly serve over 23% of the global semiconductor industry and 36% of the US Healthcare market, they have very deep data on disruptions, mitigations, and improvements that can be generated in these supply bases and they do an exceptional job here. (Especially as they have been doing it for years and years, getting better every year as their database gets deeper and more extensive.)
The solution, which is always free for suppliers and their suppliers, allows a supplier to define their employees who need access to the system as well as the suppliers they use as tier 1 inputs. When a supplier is added by a customer, they get an invitation to complete or share a standardized risk assessment with the customer for every site they will be using. Since the solution was designed to be single sign on for the supplier and give them complete access to, and control over, all of their data, if they have already completed the survey (for the categories they are supplying), they can share their existing survey. If they have not for one of more sites they are using, they can complete it for those sites and just share just the data the new customer needs.
But the real power of the platform is that once a supplier fills out the survey, that captures the key risk and disruption indicators for that type of supplier, the platform computes a risk of disruption profile and identifies key actions and mitigations the supplier should take to considerably decrease the chances of disruption in the future. And the actions and mitigations work. With almost two decades of data, they know what works and what helps.
This is why we’re covering them and why you should know about them. The providers we referenced above all do transparency, news monitoring, and event monitoring — like Supply Risk Solutions — and some have deeper operational resilience, cyber-monitoring, or other unique capabilities — but none are as focussed on reducing the risk of disruption in the supply base by providing you, and your suppliers, the insights, guidance, and monitoring your suppliers need to reduce your disruptions.
The reality is that it doesn’t matter how operationally resilient you are, how much insight you have into your supply chain, or how prepared you are for a disruption — if you are entirely dependent on your supply base for the products you sell or the services you need for continued operations, your resilience is ultimately their resilience, and, even worse, the supplier with the lowest resilience you are dependent on.
So you need to focus on your suppliers’ resilience, not yours. We know you don’t have the time, and that’s where SRS is also somewhat unique in that they also offer supply chain disruption monitoring and prevention as a managed service where they work with the suppliers and help them to maintain their data, understand their risk assessments and mitigations, access the necessary training and best practices, and create plans to address them. By identifying, and addressing, potential root causes of disruption before a disruption happens, many disruptions can be prevented, and those that can’t (like natural disasters), can be mitigated to the extent possible. And that’s how, for their clients, they reduce supply base risk by up to 60% (depending on the maturity of your suppliers).
Also, they have one of the best handles on what external events are likely to affect a given supplier site of all of the providers. Their database contains every natural disaster that’s ever been recorded back to 1850, and they’ve been maintaining deep data on relevant events since their formation 16 years ago. For a given event, they can predict the likelihood of occurrence and the likely impact and, based on that, recommend the most appropriate mitigation.
It’s very affordable, and if you are a US healthcare provider, you can even check out Supply Risk Solutions, and use it, for free on your top 10 suppliers to get deep insight into what it can do for you. (Since they, indirectly through partners like Vizient and HIRC, serve over 50% of the US health care industry, they likely already have all of the data on not just the top 10 suppliers for a hospital, but most of the top 100.) It’s definitely worth checking out, and when you see the value, upgrading to at least the first tier solution.