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How Forecasters Can Mitigate Supply Chain Risk

Preparing for the unexpected; a company-wide effort

(Westport, MA) – LifeWork Search recently surveyed a group of forecasting professionals on what they felt would be the best way to help their organization mitigate supply chain risk.  The search firm is a perennial President Club winner within MRINetwork®, the world’s largest search and recruitment organization, specializing in Supply Chain Planning and Procurement.

Results of the poll indicate that a significant percentage of folks feel it will take a company-wide effort to successfully prepare for the unexpected.  The results of the poll are as follows.  Of the people surveyed, 15% felt that improved risk probability & demand plan was the best way to mitigate risk, 3% felt enhanced technology & intelligence tools was the best way, 5% felt quantifying a part’s exposure to revenue was the best method, while 70% felt that a combination of all three was the best and only way to help mitigate risk.  And although most believe there are measures that could help better forecast risk, 7% of folks felt that forecasters cannot plan for major risk.

Today’s global and complex supply chain presents greater challenges and risks.  Over the past few years, there have been many unplanned disruptions, mostly nature-made (earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.), but some man-made (economic, social, political, etc.), that have disrupted supply chains worldwide.  “We don’t always know when these things are going to happen, but we can plan for it”, stated Jason Breault, Managing Director of LifeWork Search. 

“Results from our poll are striking; the best way to mitigate risk is to have enterprise-wide involvement.  Most companies understand the importance and need to pay attention to supply chain risk, but aren’t really sure where to start, or the roles various constituents should play.  Everyone knows it’s a hot topic, but for somebody else”.  Breault believes that “organizations need to identify the weak links in their supply chain and the effect a disruption will have on them.  From there an organization can strategize the best plan, whether it being improvements in forecasting, investing in technology, having an ‘emergency fund’, or (the best solution according to the poll), a bit of all three. If we cannot dodge risk, being able to take it on in today’s complex supply chain can build competitive advantage and a company's financials in the long run.

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