Continuity Management Solution

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