Recent research* spanning 35 countries released by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) shows that over 70% of organisations recorded at least one supply chain disruption during 2010, with 20% admitting they had suffered reputational damage as a result.

When a supplier fails

Businesses that have shifted production to lower cost countries are most at risk with more than eight out of ten experiencing disruption, usually due to failure of transport networks and supplier insolvency. Even when suppliers were identified as being critical to their business, almost half the firms surveyed confessed they had not checked their suppliers’ business continuity plans.

As a SunGard Availability Services customer, you recognise the importance of building resilience into your own operation – but have you addressed the impact of a key supplier failure? SunGard offers a range of market-leading software tools and expert consulting services that can help you reduce your exposure to the failings of others.

Continuity Management Solutions (CMS) – Supply Chain package

This software bundle will help you to assess the impact on your business and customers in the event of supply chain disruption. It features a Vendor Assessment module that enables you to evaluate your vendor’s BC plans and ensure their objectives match your own. Even more importantly, it helps you plan workarounds should the chain be broken.

The other products in the package are BIA Professional, a highly effective survey tool to help you understand the effect on your business when disasters strike, ensuring your continuity plans meets actual business needs. We also offer the award-winning LDRPS (living Disaster recovery Planning System), which unlike DIY Microsoft Office based plans, helps you manage the complexity and numerous changes that occur within multiple plans; across several locations within your organisation. And if you already have a mature plan in place that’s becoming unmanageable, don’t worry we can help you migrate to CMS, so you won’t loose all  the hard work that you put into your original plan. 

Supply Chain Consulting services

Our pragmatic and experienced consultants are skilled at quickly getting to the heart of your business, identifying critical dependencies and helping you understand your level of risk based on the critical activities identified in your business impact Analysis. Working closely with you, they will help develop a supply chain strategy covering key areas including:

  • Supplier procurement – helping you draw up a vendor specification setting the minimum level of BCM provision you expect from your suppliers based on industry best practice. This will cover core components from general programme management through to overall risk and incident management. We help you collate the information you need to make informed decisions on BC strategy, ensuring a full audit trail to meet internal and external compliance requirements.
  • Process mapping – matching suppliers with business-critical processes to identify any vulnerabilities.
  • Supply chain incident management – drawing up action plans covering your response, escalation, management and monitoring.
  • Lifecycle supply chain review – Our web-based tracking and reporting portal gives you the ability to monitor, note changes and, ultimately, improve your suppliers’ resilience.

Click here to find out more about SunGard's CMS Supply Chain Package

Click here to find out more about SunGard's Consulting Services

*Business Continuity Institute: Supply Chain Resilience – October 2010

Who is the weakest link in your supply chain?

As a SunGard Availability Services customer, you appreciate the importance of business continuity management and will be diligent about getting your  own house in order. But how resilient are your suppliers? Supply chains today are increasingly complex, less transparent and subsequently more  risky. If one of your key suppliers failed, what effect would it have on your  business? As the entertainment chain Zavvi found to its cost, its fate was inextricably – and fatally – linked to that of its wholesale distributor, the Woolworths-owned Entertainment UK.

According to a recent Marsh supply chain survey,  62% of companies see supplier failure as a risk, but less than half have measures in place to deal with any supplier outages. Given their mutual interdependence, many companies recognise the need to treat suppliers as an extension of their own organisation when it comes to business continuity management (BCM) planning. Yet few actually do so. Of those questioned in the 2009 BCI Supply chain Survey, just one in nine felt their BCM needs had been fully met. Two thirds had been partially successful in getting their needs adopted through their supply chain, while almost a quarter had either not tried or not been successful at all.
It is easy to see why many organisations find the task is simply too daunting to contemplate. Firstly, the number of dependencies in the supply chain has increased exponentially and the mapping process to identify single points of failure is far from straightforward, with numerous levels and nodes that network to other suppliers. Taking one example, a freight forwarding company found that just one of its contracts involved over 150 subcontractors ranging from trucking companies to overseas agents and shipping lines. Each of these parties will carry their own risks and would need to be understood and mapped!
Then, as we all know, a plan needs to be regularly tested if it is to be effective. The ideal approach is to broaden co-operation between your various supply chain links by including them in your incident management exercises, introducing them one at a time.
Finally, it is an unfortunate fact that a high number of outsourcing relationships fail within their first two years. Any change in supplier or a move to bring a contract back in-house represents a major business risk. An effective exit strategy is essential to manage the transition.
SunGard offers a range of products and services designed to support organisations as they extend their BCM focus along the supply chain to tackle vulnerabilities that pose a threat to their own business. These include: 
  • Continuity Management Solutions (CMS) – a highly effective, purpose-built software tool designed specifically for bc professionals that  saves time spent on admin and plan development. The Vendor Assessment module maps the complex dependencies that exist throughout the supply  chain and will help plan workarounds should the chain be broken.  
  • Consultancy Supply Chain Services – encompassing procurement support, supplier selection, process mapping of existing suppliers, incident management, scenario walkthroughs and rehearsal.
  • Exit Planning to manage the switch to a new supplier or integrate the service back into the organisation, minimising the business risk.

Click here to view SunGard's CMS online video for more information