Supply Chain Security Is Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link

A supply chain is only as strong or efficient as its weakest link, whether that’s a policy, process, or person. Successful supply chain security requires a constant effort to stay knowledgeable and current with the most effective security countermeasures against emerging threats while at the same time continuing to develop and run operations in the most effective and efficient way possible.

How do you know if your supply chain is at a best practice based level? Your specific strategic supply chain security objectives can be achieved after an independent and comprehensive assessment of the physical, technical, procedural, and personnel security measures currently in place. After conducting numerous supply chain engagements in the private sector, I have gained access to comparable organizations in both similar and disparate industries and can routinely benchmark those operations against yours—offering you valuable insight.

Trust the Process

When I assess your supply chain’s movement of materials out of the organization to the end consumer, I apply the benefits of best practice-based security disciplines, including a supply chain risk management strategy tailored specifically to your culture and environment. Because we know that successful supply chain security requires a change from managing individual functions to integrating activities into key processes, we show you how to exploit existing assets through improved coordination.

In order to enhance supply chain security, you need to:

Conduct an on-site security survey of buildings and properties;

Examine risks, threats, and vulnerabilities affecting the supply chain;

Consider suggested modifications along with operational enhancements;

Develop additional strategies for protection from accidental and intentional theft, diversion, and tampering;

Create a detailed timeline to implement strategic recommendations; and

Accept continued support from a trusted security advisor.

The Wheels on the Truck Go Round and Round

A critical link to successful supply chain security focuses on ground and air transportation and the third-party companies that typically supply these services. After conducting a thorough process review of the carriers that are under contract and how each customer receives delivery of product, you’ll be able to develop cargo theft awareness and mitigation strategies for third-party carriers, further strengthening your security posture.

The screening of third-party suppliers and vendors should result in a list of approved providers with current data on standards, performance, areas of concern, or product-related issues. Also, all contractors, vendors, and third-party providers are responsible for providing current proof of successful background screening for their personnel who require access to the supply chain product.

Do As I Say and As I Do

Make sure you do what you say you’re going to do when it comes to your supply chain security strategy. It’s not enough to construct and distribute current best practice-based guidelines to all relevant internal and external entitiesyou must also ensure that these standards are clearly understood and followed completely.

When you implement a standardized process, you can mitigate risk on various levels, which is not only important for compliance reasons, but can also save you money. A coordinated, strategy-driven approach provides significant business benefits over time, such as operational improvement, fiscal efficiency, and decreased risk, and should be well defined and continuously reviewed, modified, and updated to ensure best-in-class industry supply chain security disciplines.

Do you have the resources, staffing, and expertise to plan, prepare, and implement a holistic supply chain security strategy within your organization? The Lake Forest Group is here to help. We’ll provide the necessary insight and hands-on advice that lead to tangible results—and help to ensure the integrity of your supply chain. To find out how we can address your particular security challenge, contact me at [email protected] or 312.515.8747. Or share this blog post with someone who wants to improve their security program.

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