The supply chain is threatened with insecurity from all directions. Theft, terrorism, and cyber crime are just a few examples of threats faced by goods on transit. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways through which the security of the supply chain can be improved.
Here are six practices that you should consider if you’re resolute about enhancing your supply chain security.
1. Applying a structured approach
The first step in averting any risk is usually to stay safe: do not expose yourself to the problem. Start by forming a diverse team tasked primarily with managing supply chain risks at the organization. Then you can have all departments within the organization assessing and outlining their specific concerns which are then planned for by this management team. Every department has its own special needs and giving them the opportunity to express their concerns is the best way of identifying and tackling all risks within the entire organization.
2. Knowing other participants in your supply chain
This starts with identifying the right partners. Conduct a thorough research before accepting to work with anyone. Can you trust them? Sometimes the pressure to fill a vacancy can put the organization at risk because you may end up with a body and not a fitting person. Whether you’re finding a 3PL partner or hiring a new employee, you must be very thorough with your screening. For suppliers and vendors, you need to know where they are sourcing from, who supplies them, and how close they monitor your shipment.
3. Single source the supply chain management needs
Working with several partners in the supply chain is almost inevitable. But you still need to find a single body that helps you monitor all these partners. This eliminates chances of confusion. Even for smaller organizations, the supply chain will always be complex making it very difficult to keep a close eye on every process. You can either have an in-house logistics department or a third party logistics provider doing this monitoring for you.
4. Be precise with every process
Start by being accurate with measurements, weights, and counting. Then share this information throughout the supply chain. If everyone knows about it, they will support you in case you lose an item in the shipping process and are seeking compensation from your insurer.
Networking means working with a large group of professionals. A major advantage of this is that any meaningful news will never escape you. Yes, you also need social media, TV, newspapers, and magazines but professional networks will usually deliver the news very much earlier. Professional networking will also help you find the right partners whenever you need to hire. You can always ask fellow networkers to recommend candidates from whom you can then select the best.
6. Join bodies and organizations that are concerned with supply chain security
There are several such bodies both within and outside Canada. The best example and probably the most popular is Partners in Protection (PIP) which is a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). PIP enlists the cooperation of local private industries to enhance trade chain and border security, and to tackle organized crime and terrorism. If you trade across the U.S./Canada border, you can also register with C-TPAT.
Security ultimately comes down to vigilance. Your eyes and ears must always be out there and you must be willing to adjust accordingly.