Tag Archives: Risk Mitigation


In many industries, globalization has resulted in the consolidation of suppliers and increasingly interdependent Supply Chains. Globalization has increased efficiencies and economies of scale, but it has led to decreased diversity of sourcing and supply options.

Increasing geopolitical tensions, pandemic related lockdowns, and ideological polarizations have increased supply chain disruptions for many products and materials.

Supply Chain Risk Management System

An active Supply Chain Risk Management System cannot ensure continuity of supply, however, it can provide a playbook with options when sources of supply are threatened.

Download our free eBook “The Supply Chain Risk Management Playbook: Navigating Through an Uncertain Supply Chain Future” as we advise how to identify and respond to the unique risks that affect your business.

This Playbook details the various concepts that will secure your operations, including:

Planning the Risk Management Assessment

During the planning stage you will define the project charter and assess your organization’s Risk Tolerance.

Conducting the Risk Management Assessment

Once management has defined success and risk tolerances, it’s time to take action and conduct the assessment.

Check your findings

This step must be tailored to the risk being assessed. Here you will build the risk models and validate the assumptions with your stakeholders.

Act on your findings

Once all appropriate stakeholders have agreed to the change, put the risk mitigation strategy into action.

For full details on each of these critical stages, download the complete Playbook below:

Supply Chain Risk Management Playbook eBook CTA

Installing a well-functioning Supply Chain Risk Management Operating System is a journey, not an event.

Enhancing responsiveness to risk provides competitive advantages, especially in industries where competition for key vendors, access to resources, and logistics constraints are prevalent.

USC Consulting Group’s Supply Chain experts have over 50 years of industry experience with the latest risk management practices and can help you with your unique challenges. Contact us to remove the risks and start driving operational improvements in your business.

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Supply chain management is a crucial part of every business, which has a wide range of effects, from the streamlined transfer of goods and services to improved customer satisfaction. In this digital age, it has become easier to understand the complexities or risks that affect the supply chain. In general, the supply chain exists in both the services and manufacturing organizations. However, the risk of complexity varies in different organizations.

Managing it effectively is not a simple task. It consists of several challenges and demands to constantly develop a new skill and update the existing one. By implementing effective tactics, you can easily enhance high supply chain performance.

Supply-Chain Essentials Every Manager Should Know

Here are a few things managers should know about managing the end-to-end supply chain from raw material to finished products.

1. Business Communication

If you want to be a leader in supply chain management, you have to communicate well. Depending on whether your company is dealing internationally or locally, being an efficient communicator will surely help you to gain some position in the marketplace. As a supply chain leader, you should be aware of the terms like ROIC, EBITDA, and economic profit. These technical terms must be part of your everyday vocabulary as you would be delivering schedules with suppliers.

2. The Know-How To Negotiate

Negotiation is pivotal in supply chain management. If you want to be successful in this industry, you have to be a good negotiator. Whether you are a lead or participant in negotiation, your skill will influence the relationship of the opposite party.

If you have negotiation skills, you will enter into the discussions looking for an outcome that will satisfy the results. Ask as many questions as you can. It will clear the doubt. An excellent negotiator pays close attention to the opposite parties’ behavior.

3. Customer-First Thinking Is The Key

Supply chain organizations should think about the customer first. This means thinking for the customer when making a decision about the supply chain. In order to gain a good relationship with your customers, you need to spend some time with them and understand their needs and considerations. By focusing on these parameters, you can shape a supply chain that satisfies the customer.

Building a customer-centric supply chain is not easy. All the departments, from suppliers to manufacturers, are involved in the supply chain. You must find new ways to meet customers’ needs and exceed their expectations. In 2021, Assignment Assistance UK formed a customer-centric marketing campaign, and the results were amazing, as the sale ratio exceeded their expectations.

4. Understanding Cost-To-Serve

Cost-to-serve is basically a cross-supply chain method used to focus on process-based costs. It helps in calculating the cost-effectiveness of product and market routes along with the customer profitability. Furthermore, it provides you with a fact-based focus to make decisions on operational changes and service mix for each particular customer.

If you can understand the cost-to-serve, you will be able to make decisions to improve the customer’s outcome. Some supply chain leaders have gifted skills, while others need to train themselves and require practice.

If you apply the cost-to-serve concept to your company’s supply chain activity, then you will be able to build a profitable relationship with customers and the production team. That’s why ease with the cost-to-serve is a good skill that helps you to stand out as a competent supply chain professional.

5. Data Is Everything

Data is crucial in business to formulate strategies, streamline operations, introduce new services, and ensure customer satisfaction. But data is nothing unless it is analyzed. I have seen that most of the decisions in supply chain activities are instinct-based, neglecting data analysis.

Always keep a keen eye on cost and never assume something is great because everyone loves new deals. Look at the facts and data and do not rely on emotions and instinct when making decisions. While concluding a literature review, Bob Tucker describes supply chain analytics as the ability to use data in order to improve all activities across the supply chain.

Since data analysis has been utilized for years, the introduction of new technologies like machine learning or artificial intelligence has led to contribution in today’s supply chain forecasting.

Benefits Of Following Supply Chain Essentials

The supply chain plays a vital role in boosting several business processes, including your relationships. Supply chain management isn’t a simple experiment, but effective supply chain management offers several benefits that improve the bottom line. Let’s look at some of the benefits of effective supply chain management.

a) Better Collaboration

In order to resolve any problem, the supply chain team should be able to share information with stakeholders and communicate with the right people at the right time. Consistent communication improves the relationship, which results in better collaboration and boosted business.

b) Improved Risk Mitigation

Having knowledge of risk help companies in achieving their goals. For instance, 87% of companies believe they could reduce inventory by 22% if they have a better risk management system. This all can be achieved by following the supply chain essentials.

c) Better Quality Control

The quality control process improves once a manager starts following supply chain essentials. Since, data analysis is used for decision making, it helps in producing quality products.

Quality control in the supply chain helps to maintain the company’s reputation. In this modern age, the main goal is to gain a unique place in customers’ minds. For this, the quality control subcontractor gives suggestions to companies to increase their benefits.


The supply chain manager focuses on a better relationship with all the members of the supply chain, including the customers. Today, the supply chain industry is growing rapidly. Hence, making a data driven-approach to supply chain management is a must.

Data is not only driven by effective supply chain management but there are also factors such as good vendor and supplier relationships, effective cost control, securing the right logistics partners and adoption of effective supply chain technologies. An efficient manager takes into consideration all these factors, which result in an improved supply chain process.

*This article is written by Claudia Jeffrey. Claudia is currently working as an Auditor at crowdwriter. She has previously looked after operations and customer service departments in the same firm. Claudia is keen to manage an effective supply chain process and believes in company growth with the customers. She loves to travel and explore the world.

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The majority of businesses, especially manufacturers, have been experiencing among the worst supply chain disruptions they’ve seen in a long time, courtesy of COVID-19. It seems that nobody has been immune to disruption whether you’re getting your supply from China or just down the street. When your supply chain slows down, your production slows down, and that means product doesn’t get to your customers on time. In the end, it eats at your bottom line, creates frustrated customers, and generally makes life difficult for everyone up and down the chain.

Let’s talk about supply chain disruptions, what causes them, and what you can do to minimize their impact in the future. (One highly effective way to do that is by maximizing your operational efficiencies. But more on that later.)

4 common causes of supply chain disruption

It doesn’t take the worst global pandemic humanity has seen in a century to disrupt your supply chain. Here are a few common causes.

  1. Global health crises. COVID-19 is the worst-case scenario, but other global health crises like SARS, H1N1, malaria, Ebola and other conditions have wrought havoc with supply chains throughout the years. It’s about the impact the condition has on people, the regions where they live and work, and whether you’re getting your supply from that region. This past year, it was also about lockdowns and travel moratoriums.
  2. Political crises. Political unrest and strife in different parts of the world, or political ill will between this country and another, can throw a wrench into your supply chain.
  3. Natural disasters. Does anyone else notice that floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and other natural disasters seem to be on the rise? The World Economic Forum did. According to the WEF, we’re experiencing triple the number of natural disasters today than we did 30 years ago. Last year, there were 820 major events that caused loss of homes, businesses and life. That’s enough disruption to cause severe problems for manufacturers even without COVID-19. Natural disasters can cause transportation slowdowns or stoppages, making it difficult to get goods from one place to another.
  4. Cyberattacks. Look no further than the lines at the gas pump all up and down the east coast in May 2021 after the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline to see supply chain disruption taken to the extreme.

Risk mitigation tactics

One important thing to note is, you can’t control many causes of supply chain disruptions like pandemics, natural disasters and cyberattacks. But there are pieces of the puzzle you can control. That means minimizing risk and maximizing efficiencies. Putting plans in place long before you need them can go a long way toward lessening the impact of the elements you can’t control. Here are a few ideas we’ve been suggesting to our customers.

Develop a strong Plan B. One of the lasting effects the pandemic will leave behind when it is finally a thing of the past is the knowledge that disruption can happen in the blink of an eye. Having a strong emergency backup plan needs to be job one. What this looks like for you depends on your business and your industry, but it could mean things like developing a strong network of second- and third-tier suppliers. That way, if a disaster happens in one area, which you cannot control, you’ll have a Plan B (that you can control) to get your supply when you need it.

Identify and strengthen the weakest link. What’s the weakest link in your supply chain? One way to find out is by conducting a wide variety of scenario tests, sort of an “if this happens, that will kick in” exercise. It will allow you to see where your vulnerabilities and risks lie and shore up that weak link before it causes your chain to fail.

Maximize operational efficiencies in-house. What if one of those weak links is on your own production line? You can’t control the weather, or the next pandemic, or political unrest. But you can certainly control the operations in your own house. Maximizing your efficiencies, getting lean and mean, ramping up your output and doing more with your current assets are powerful weapons in the war against disruption. When the product arrives, you can process it and get it out the door as quickly as possible.

Don’t let poor demand planning be part of the problem. Demand planning is vital in any economy, but it is elevated to an art form in the economy we’re living with right now. We recommend a SIOP system (sales, inventory and operations planning) for the most accurate, up-to-date way to calculate your inventory based on forecasted demand. Read more about it in “Did your company plan for the pandemic to end? If not, it’s not too late.”

With many businesses and industries struggling to find enough resources to handle their demand, USC Consulting Group is uniquely qualified to help businesses open up capacity with existing resources, thereby, allowing companies to more quickly satisfy customer demand. We’ve been helping companies do it for more than 50 years. If you’d like to talk about how we can help mitigate supply chain disruption risks by increasing your operational efficiency, give us a call today.


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