Map supply chains to minimise disruption, says ASCM

As the global economy reels from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, 70 per cent of companies are busy gathering and evaluating supply-chain information, working painstakingly to identify key data about which of their supply-chain partners have sites in locked-down regions, where and how they can secure necessary raw materials, and how best to shield their networks from ongoing disruption.

The fact that these efforts are severely hampered by lack of essential data – data that’s missing or unobtainable given current conditions – exacerbates the situation, worsening its impact.

Some supply-chain organisations are better prepared to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, contends Chicago-based non-profit the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), which states, ‘Those that had the foresight to map their networks before the crisis emerged have much better visibility into what is really going on’.

“Instead of scrambling at the last minute, they have a lot of information at their fingertips,” state Thomas Choi, Dale Rogers and Bindiya Vakil in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review. “They know exactly which suppliers, sites, parts and products are at risk, which allows them to put themselves first in line to secure constrained inventory and capacity at alternate sites.”

The best supply-chain maps are ‘as revealing as possible’ notes the ASCM. ‘They depict the geographical location of suppliers; supplier’s suppliers, all the way down to raw materials; manufacturing plants; warehouses and distribution centers [sic]; transportation routes; and major markets.

‘They include information on activities performed at each site, alternative sites that can do the same, lead times, shipment frequencies, product mix and volumes, supplier delivery performance, and more. ‘

Read the ASCM article here.

Read the Harvard Business Review article here.

Sources: Supply Chain mapping – an essential step towards resilience I Association of Supply Chain Management (ASCM);
Coronavirus is a wake-up call for supply-chain management 
I Harvard Business Review