You make a good point about knowing where to start.I think the first step is to identify potential disruption points, then rank these points in terms of the economic impact.So the priority is based not on the likelihood of disruption, but rather the magnitude of the economic impact.Then develop alternative plans based on the disruption.There really isn’t a need to identify every possible cause of a disruption; just what would you do about it.For example, it doesn’t matter if a disruption is caused by a natural disaster or political unrest, just that you have well developed contingency plans in place and ready to execute.The next question to ask is can your business live with the results of the disruption with the associated contingency plans.If the answer is no, then consideration should be given to adding additional sourcing points.
The points about making sure the appropriate people are involved and that it’s a continuous process are very valid.An outdated plan would need to be updated in the event of a disruption; that’s critical time that would pass without action. Likewise, time will be lost if the people who will actually make decisions in the event of a crisis weren’t the same people involved in the development of the continuity plans.
One other thing that should be included in the plans is who can make what decisions, and empowering multiple people to make these decisions. For example, the US military has always enjoyed an advantage due to battlefield commanders being empowered to make decisions versus enemies with centralize power and decision making (i.e. German army before D-Day).There is currently speculation in the media regarding this being an issue with the nuclear plant operators in Japan as it relates to the timing of a decision on venting radioactive gas.
Developing the framework and appointing the key people in decision making would be a difficult part of the business continuity process. I think the continuity plan is mandatory for any high volume production setup. But at the end the results will be good for any company who is ready to invest in developing such a process.
That is a handy little check list for determining how sufficient you plan is. The hardest part about planning for something like this is knowing where to start. Obviously, the day after the earthquake is no time to assess your recovery plan. It's a fairly risk-free exercise as well. When it comes to implementation, of course, you have to invest...but assessment is a good beginning.
"business continuity planning must extend beyond a one-time initiative and become a living process that adapts and evolves as your business evolves"
Thanks for the article which suggests that business continuity plan is the key to mitigate supply chain risk. Definitely business continuity planning should extend beyond one-time initiative because things are evolving so fast these days that you never know what event will throw up supply-chain disruption challenge.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.