Not every risk in the supply chain is obvious. In order to help supply chain managers decrease their vulnerability to threats, Shawn Casemore, president of supply chain management consulting firm, Casemore & Co., explained other things that industry leaders should be on the lookout for in an article for CFO.com.
He explained that far along the chain, the standards of equipment quality from offshore sources are not nearly as stringent as they are domestically. Because of that, while a partially assembled product may come from a reliable source, its parts may have come from a sweatshop.
"I worked with an organization where the keys on the keyboard of an important piece of equipment were sticking," Casemore wrote. "After an exhaustive analysis, the fault was found to be a process change by a subtier supplier (i.e., a supplier to a subcontractor), which had reduced the amount of dielectric grease applied between keys."
As many different supply chains learned the hard way in recent years, another risk that should be adequately prepared for is unexpected catastrophe, as demonstrated by the earthquakes in Japan and the recent flooding in the Philippines, for instance.
Not having supplementary suppliers on the backburner could create an internal disaster for businesses. When the demand for an item skyrockets because the supply plummets, businesses that don't have backup plans often settle for third-rate suppliers and become vulnerable to phony products marked with counterfeit labeling.
Finally, Casemore wrote that it's important for supply chain managers to not simply have a binder of protocols just stored away in a cabinet. He said that all employees and managers should be aware of the sources of risk, how likely they are to be an issue and how severe the risk is.