Businesses must put more effort into pre-planning for business interruption according to a survey by Zurich Insurance and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). They are concerned about supply chain disruption and term it a “blind spot”. We are concerned too. Zurich recommends mapping out your supply chain and quantifying each supplier by financial stability, geopolitical issues, et al. If you have a lot of global suppliers, this could be a tall order. I think Zurich is sitting in an “ivory tower” and not a “SCM Control Tower“.
So we started to look at other ways to assess risk and found Dr. David Simchi-Levi of MIT. Dr. Simchi-Levi has developed what he calls a Risk Exposure Index™
Dr Simchi-Levi takes the approach of understanding the nature of various risks, quantifying the supply chain risk and finally by addressing these risks through supplier segmentation. Risks range from the controllable execution problems or “known-unknown” to the uncontrollable natural disasters called “unknown-unknown” (which he refers to as “black swans“).
If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s less actual software installed on local computers and more being accessed through online connections to remote computers, or at least to remote storage systems. This transition makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons and those of us in the supply chain are likely to be prime beneficiaries of the trend.
Picking an email system like gmail or even Yahoo mail is an obvious choice because of the nature of email – the content moves from one computer to another over the Internet. When online connections were more temporary, expensive, and less reliable it made sense to use a local application like Microsoft Outlook to handle the sending and receiving of the mail as well as editing the messages. But those limitations are long gone for most of us.