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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Managing the Future State of Supply Chain Risk

Threats from adversaries and natural disasters can disrupt supply chains, challenging organizations to respond effectively. To get ahead of a constantly shifting threat environment, how can organizations mature institutional collaboration to better manage the future state of supply chain risk?

While policies and guidance are important, they are also piecemeal and almost immediately out of date. Beyond policy, organizations need a way to effectively counter modern supply chain threats in an approach that enables flexibility and a standing ability to respond. Fundamentally, this requires a culture of collaboration guided by a framework that can highlight the current and targeted states of supply chain risk management (SCRM).

A SCRM collaboration framework can facilitate engagement within an organization and across its peer organizations to achieve its risk reduction goals. It can assist organizations in moving from a state of less defined SCRM governance, risk posture, process, technology, and information sharing to a state of maturity in which it proactively leverages and exchanges peer knowledge, processes, and best practices internally and externally to achieve the goal of reducing risk to organizational supply chains. It can prompt analysis of future threats and impacts across economic, geopolitical, and technological aspects that can help inform today’s decisions. Government and industry alike can benefit from a collaborative SCRM function.

When applied to organizations, the framework has illustrated widely varying levels of maturity, not only at the enterprise level, but also among an organization’s divisions, and down to the program levels. This is due to a variety of factors: emerging threats (e.g., Huawei and COVID-19) that are differentially affecting a wider array of sectors and organizations; an organization’s size, centralization, or geographic distribution; and an organization’s involvement in partnerships, such as information sharing and analysis centers (ISACs) , and inter-organization agreements.

Having the clarity to understand where an organization is in its management of supply chain risk, and where it needs to take the next step toward increased maturity, is essential. To get clarity – and to get ahead of a constantly shifting threat environment – organizations must look beyond policy, requirements, and compliance and take the necessary measures to mature their institutional collaboration. This will give them significant advantage in managing their future supply chain risk.

Read more: Managing the Future of Supply Chain Risk

Lori Gordon
Lori W. Gordon is a technology strategist in national and homeland security, cybersecurity, and infrastructure risk and resilience at The Aerospace Corporation, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). She is an advisor to ISO, ANSI, and NIST technical working groups and is a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute. Lori has also served on curriculum advisory boards on cybersecurity and infrastructure security, law and government, and resilient design. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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