Supply chain

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost… and so, according to the old adage, the problems accumulate until a kingdom is lost - and all for want of a horseshoe nail: a snowballing chain of causality, where a tiny failure beyond the control of the military commander has catastrophic consequences.

There is much you can do within your own business to promote success: good governance, the implementation of effective processes and cyber security measures, ongoing risk management, workforce education… these are all elements that contribute to improved viability and resilience. It’s vital, however, to recognise that your organisation does not operate in a vacuum.

Within your company, the personnel, equipment, processes and standards are all cogs that interact and combine to form a bigger, more complex system. But this system extends beyond the boundaries of your own organisation to include not just your immediate suppliers, but their suppliers, too: a whole chain of organisations, each with its own internal operations and systems. And, just like any other chain, the supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Your supplier relationships can be critical. Knowing their ethics and ethos and understanding whether they work to the same quality standards that you uphold are all factors to be considered. Are they prepared for unanticipated circumstances? Do they have strategies in place to cope with the unexpected?

A system is at risk if any of its constituent parts fails, however small that part is and however distant its role appears to be from the main operation. Whether it’s a critical pigment sourced from an area affected by a hurricane, or downtime in the telephone network of your serviced offices, your organisation is at risk from failures and mishaps that are, to a great extent, beyond your control.

Our team will help you identify the critical nodes in your supply chain, work with your suppliers to implement improvements, and assist in drawing up a “Plan B” to keep the chain intact should one link fail. Together, we’ll ensure that you are prepared for whatever happens.

For more information on our services, please contact us: