FREMONT, CA: Supply chain risk management has always been a complicated prospect. Most companies currently have a relatively immature capacity to handle the supply chain risk, but most are now looking to invest in upgrading their practices. Establishing a more systematic, centered, and constructive approach requires action in four areas: identifying and evaluating, quantifying and prioritizing, mitigating, and recovering.
Even under a secure environment, there may be gaps in supply chain security. The seller may have their supply chain nailed down, but the manufacturer—confidence in their practices—may deal with suppliers of parts who work unsecured businesses — the smaller the industry, higher the gaps, and lack of information. The National Defense Industrial Association recently examined small and medium-sized defense contractors and found that less than 60 percent of them read the document explaining the defense contractors ' minimum security standards. Most of the problem with the supply chain is beyond the ability of the individual to do anything about it and beyond the capacity of small businesses to deal with it. They need to focus more on the issue at the national level.
In the supply chain industry, the risks faced by federal agencies include gray-market and counterfeit products, manipulation, and vendors, who do not adequately assess their own risk. Agencies should check in regularly with the third business parties, ensuring that security policies in the supply chain are periodically audited, and updated. In particular, knowing what they are doing and how they are making changes also becomes essential. Vigilance in supply chains management can be challenging, as much of the production process may not be transparent. But agencies have many ways of helping with these days' risk assessment, which is a crucial step to move forward.
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