Usually organizational security is thought of in terms of the people involved, but there are corporate activities such as supply chain security that matter as well. Individuals or employees come and go, changing roles within an organization, or leaving it altogether. The supply chain persists, and the issue of supply chain security must be able to remain intact despite any shift in the personnel holding any given role.
With today’s international corporations sourcing products from everywhere from China to Germany, Argentina to Canada, the supply chain problem is more important than ever. Add to that the ever present risk of terrorism, the growing threats of natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, and the outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics among human and animal populations, and we are approaching a supply chain security perfect storm.
Even more troubling from an intellectual perspective is the reality that one small cargo in your supply chain can bring the entire chain to a complete stop. We have witnessed this before in the semiconductor industry, in which small disruptions in Asia, caused huge disruptions in North America.
A short blog post cannot due justice to these issues, but let us point out some very basic issues with respect to supply chain security in an international setting.
First and foremost, the issues of employee security and and supply chain security are intertwined. Every step in the supply chain is managed by people, and as we all know the strength of a “chain” is defined by its weakest link. Significant risk can exist in the start-to-finish span of the supply chain security if the process is not considered as a whole, even if all the individuals involved are doing their jobs properly.
Supply Chain Security Basics
If your organization executes the three basic components of supply chain security best practices, then you are a long way towards having a well-managed risk (in all processes risk can only be decreased, not entirely eliminated).
First: Train Early and Often
Security training should not be an afterthought for those working in the supply chain, but integral to their training, from Day 1. Further, one-and-done is not the proper model. Training must be periodically refreshed, if it is to be effective.
Second: Use Local Knowledge
Do not assume that the risks in ‘Location A’ are same as in ‘Location B’. Use local knowledge to map out the risk factors at each site. This is a particularly important aspect of supply chain security when the supply chain originates overseas.
Third: Leverage Technology
The ever-present smartphone is a huge boon to risk management, obviating the need for specialized hardware that used to be all but obligatory. Apps such as our FoneTrac can be easily integrated into your organization’s supply chain security protocols.
Interested? Reach out to us for a demo.