Inside Supply Management Magazine

Is Your Supply Chain Resilient?

May 06, 2015

Is resilience just the latest business buzzword or term du jour that business and supply chain professionals are talking about — but doing very little about? What does a resilient organization look like?

These and other questions about building resilient companies and supply chains were tackled in an ISM2015 presentation “Resilience … Taking Continuity to the Next Level.” And Betty A. Kildow of Kildow Consulting says if business resilience, risk management and business continuity aren’t on your radar, they should be.

A resilient company is able to not only bounce back after a disruption, but to become a stronger, more robust organization that learns lessons after the disruption. The foundation of a resilient company and a resilient supply chain is a solid business continuity plan, Kildow says. Supply management practitioners play an important, often leading, role in building a business continuity plan, but Kildow says they can’t do it themselves.

“A business continuity plans must be an enterprisewide system that include all business units including end-to-end supply chains,” she explains. “It’s also no longer just about unplanned or catastrophic events, but about the small things that go on in your day-to-day business.”

How do you get there? Kildow suggests six steps:

Proactively identify and manage supply risks

Make resilience part of strategic supply chain planning

Have a detailed plan, but give permission to go off book

Consider the value of adopting a standard that addresses continuity and risk

Build continuity plans not just to recover or continue, but to advance and improve

Create a culture that promotes resilience.

Kildow admits it’s easy to convince upper management about the value of a continuity plan after there has been a major disruption, the challenge is making the case before there is a problem.

Are you up to the challenge?