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Supply Chain Risk Management

We have gone through a revolution in supply chain, reducing cycle times, greatly reducing inventories, and outsourcing manufacturing to lower-cost regions resulting in tremendous improvements to performance. But there has been a price to pay. It has made our supply chains longer, leaner, and much more vulnerable. The next revolution in supply chain must be about making them more resilient, while simultaneously continuing to improve in speed and cost. That will not be easy. As a pioneer in supply chain risk management, ChainLink has spent over a decade researching this area and uncovering the ways that companies can make their supply chains high performance and resilient.

To learn more about how ChainLink Research can help you with your Supply Chain Risk Management strategy, please contact us via email or call us

  • Supply Chain Risk Solutions: A Market Overview -- There are many different solutions for dealing with supply chain risk. Here we present a framework for looking at the alternatives.
  • Co-Managing Supplier Risk: Part 1 - The Challenges of Managing Supplier Risks -- Managing the risks imposed by suppliers and third party service providers has become increasingly difficult and expensive. In part one of this series we explore the reasons why. In part two we'll look at a promising new approach to solving the problem without breaking the bank.
  • Co-Managing Supplier Risk: Part 2 - A Case for Co-managing -- A new approach offers the potential to manage risk across your entire supply base without breaking the bank. Your most highly paid resources can focus on strategic high-value work, while tactical tasks are co-managed by a third party.
  • Supplier Risk and Compliance Management in Practice: Part One -- The ability to manage supplier risk and compliance has become a critical competence for organizations. Our research shows why and how to manage and reduce supplier risk--what actually works in practice.
  • Resilient Supply Chains: The Next Frontier -- Advances in leaner and faster supply chains have come at the price of increased brittleness. It is time to make supply chains more resilient, and deal with risk more intelligently, to maintain the gains from lean strategies, and take performance to the next level.
  • Triangle Fire Revisited - in Bangladesh -- Recent workplace disasters shine the spotlight on worker safety and supply chain risk.
  • The Third Paradigm -- We have evolved supply chain practices and systems from industrial age concepts to the information age; an age rich with connectivity and data. This has allowed us to change the foundational structure on how we manage the enterprise in an age of uncertainty.
  • Urgency for Supply Chain Resilience: Results from ChainLink's 2011 Supply Chain Risk Survey -- A measurement of the state of the industry: How far have we come? What kinds of investments are being made in resilience? How well are we actually managing risk? Based on a broad survey and set of interviews, we present the findings of this research study to explore answers to these critical questions.
  • 2012 - the Year of Uncertainty -- 2012 opens with a higher than usual number of 'balls in the air' and dramas at play across the world stage. Although the recovery seems to be taking hold, there are some scary scenarios for how world events might unfold that seem credible. Here we discuss the impact of this uncertainty on businesses and their planning and execution for 2012.
  • Managing Supply Risk: A Four-part Series
    • Part One - Quantifying and Predicting Supplier Risk -- How companies ensure continuous affordable supply by measuring supplier risk and anticipating potential supplier problems. Early warning gives companies a much broader range of options to deal with potential problems in a systematic way.
    • Part Two - Supplier Business Continuity -- Do your key suppliers have a working disaster recovery/business continuity plan if one of their plants or critical IT systems goes down? If you don't know, you are inviting disaster.
    • Part Three - Hedging Strategies: Cross-Functional Teams -- Global dynamics ensure that commodity prices will remain volatile, with huge price spikes, for decades to come. Good hedging strategies are increasingly critical. Cross-functional teams are a great way to accomplish smarter hedging.
    • Part Four - Hedging Strategies: Approaches -- Learn from one company's strategy and their approaches to hedging. And a discussion of financial instruments for hedging.
  • Sourcing in Times of Uncertainty -- Sourcing and procurement professionals are used to dealing with large swings in demand and supply. But the highs and lows created by the recent bubble, recession, and recovery were difficult for even the most adept sourcing practitioners. There are some best practices and innovations that can help deal with not just uncertainty in demand and supply, but supplier failures, commodity price volatility, and supply chain risk.
  • Managing Supply Chain Risk: The Secure Supply Chain Technology Footprint (Webinar Recording) -- Impacts of various risks and the sources of insecurity; How to apply appropriate business change managements and technologies to make a real difference; What is the right technology footprint for addressing supply chain risk ; How to find the ROI needed to embark upon change projects today.
  • Risk Management Technology for the Supply Chain --Risk Management Technology is a growing sector, but the solutions are fragmented. This mini report covers technologies for cyber security, compliance, privacy, supply chain, import security, anti-counterfeiting, critical infrastructure protection, fraud and piracy, ID theft, and more.
  • Consider Risk in Your Optimization Model -- Moving Supply Chain Network Optimization from the theoretical to the actual physical supply chain to design the supply chain from the country of origin through transhipment locations to the end customer.
  • 12 Attributes of a Successful Business Continuity Plan --Twelve telltale signs that often foretell the fate of the business continuity planning effort. A look at Business Continuity Planning from a unique perspective: the end result.
  • Risk Management: Lessons Learned from Manufacturers -- Cisco and ImpactFactor, leaders in SCRM, provide insights into risk management.
  • Supply Chain Risk and its Impact on Equity Volatility -- An analysis of the effects of demand-supply mismatches (DSMs) on long-run equity volatility, examining the volatility changes associated with three types of supply chain risks: production disruptions, excess inventory, and product introduction delays. Addressing supply chain risk can have a profound impact on operational metrics, working capital, and strategic (shareholder) value.
  • The Effect of Supply Chain Disruptions on Long-term Shareholder Value, Profitability, and Share Price Volatility -- Supply chain risks’ impact on shareholder value. Many executives are having a hard time getting a handle on the economic consequences of supply chain disruptions. This study helps understand the return on investments that mitigate the risk of disruptions.
  • Elements of Food Traceability: 2010 Solutions Outlook -- More and more hands are providing and/or touching the ingredients in our "farm-to-fork" food supply chain. More rapid and reliable end-to-end food traceability will be increasingly important to achieve an acceptable level of food safety, confidence in the food supply, and the ability to react quickly and precisely to contamination events and recalls.
  • Foodborne Illness Costs $152B/year. Who Will Pay for Prevention? -- A recent study estimates the cost from sicknesses due to contaminated food in the U.S. to be $152B/year. There are other drivers to adoption of traceability besides regulatory mandates, such as brand assurance, risk management, and supply chain efficiency.


  • Reducing Spoilage in the Fresh Food Supply Chain -- Intelleflex and The Hartford recently formed an alliance to use RFID and temperature monitoring technologies to tackle the multi-billion dollar spoilage problem in the world's food supply chains.
  • Reducing Risk in Global Life Sciences Supply Chains -- Estimates on the effects of counterfeit trade exceed two hundred billion dollars (US), and inspections across the world cost billions. Yet only a very few shipments are actually inspected. This issue has particularly impacted the vital Life Sciences Supply Chain. This article discusses some of the solutions that reduce illicit trade and ensure a safe and secure supply of pharmaceuticals.
  • Counterfeit Threats Mount as Congress Moves Tentatively Towards Solutions -- Counterfeiting increases in a down economy. The loss, including the use of unsafe counterfeit products, is staggering. Congress, DHS, HHS, as well as industry advocacy groups propose regulations.
  • Interview with Paul Fox, Chairman of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy -- Fox, who is also an SVP at Gillette, speaks very eloquently on the issues surrounding counterfeiting and piracy.
  • Managing Risk is Not Just Child's Play -- After Cheung Shu-hung  was found having committed suicide in the warehouse where tainted Mattel products were made, one realizes the high stakes in managing a global supply chain.
  • Managing Your Managed Service Provider -- Lessons from American Eagle's devastating e-commerce site failure.
  • Managing Risk at Key Stages in Product Lifecycles -- Over the course of a product life-cycle there are at least six decision points where big bets must be made despite very poor forecast data.
  • A Real Options Perspective on Supply Chain Management in High Technology --  Exploration of the integration of real options into supply chain risk strategy and the use of quantitative models for measuring and hedging residual risk exposures. Originally published in Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. A definite read for the Supply Chain Community!
  • Identifying and Assessing Supply Chain Risk -- While Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) continues to gain acceptance in the financial services industry as a means to address credit, market and operational risks, and improve performance of business operations, other industrial sectors have lagged behind in adopting a true enterprise-wide view of risks.
  • Jointly Optimizing Capacity Flexibility, Supply Flexibility and Component Commonality at Ford Motor Company -- Ford is able to predict its overall vehicle sales with reasonable accuracy, but faces much greater uncertainty about the sales volumes of individual models and model options. It is at this level of specific models and model options that Ford's supply chain obviously must match supply with demand.
  • Supply Risk and Flexibility Management at Agilent -- In the fall of 2000 Agilent was faced with one of the steepest ramps in demand for test equipment ever encountered in the semiconductor industry. As markets heated up, unforeseen supply constraints pushed out standard component lead times by as many as 50 weeks, leading to expediting costs and gaps in supply that cut into both margins and revenue.
  • Operational & Financial Risk in the Supply Chain -- Every enterprise-private sector, government or non-profit-depends on a number of suppliers who can be deemed "critical" to the enterprise mission-if these suppliers do not provide the components or services which the enterprise depends upon, then the enterprise cannot fulfill its mission to its own customers.
  • What is SRFM? (Supplier Risk and Flexibility Management) -- The planning, execution and partner collaboration processes of nearly all companies today are driven by a "plan", itself typically part forecast, part performance target. Together, the plan and these core processes are at the heart of almost everything a company does.