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Four Ways We Can Boost Supply Chain Risk and Resilience Education

The COVID-19 pandemic, a catastrophic risk event, has made everyone acutely more aware of the risks to a company’s health. It’s a sad truth that it took a global pandemic to drive action surrounding supply chain risk and resilience, but the explosive growth in awareness and education is encouraging.

Still, more needs to be done:

More use case articles and white papers need to be written by exemplar companies that are exercising best practices to manage supply chain risks. These need to translate to “what’s-in-it-for-me” — or estimated return-on-investment (ROI).

Coaxing the exemplar companies to articulate what they’ve done isn’t always easy. Many have considered these best practices a strategic advantage and are hesitant to share. Another challenge is education for the masses. Just as supply chain management grew from its infancy in the ‘70s, supply chain risk and resilience must expand its footprint of education across industry sectors.

The U.S. government must commit to supply chain resilience by offering grants that demonstrate ROI for building out end-to-end risk management approaches. More grants mean more proof-of-concepts.

More courses, workshops and classes culminating in more certificates and certifications should be offered by universities and professional education organizations. New standards by organizations like the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), Institute for Supply Management (ISM), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and others must be developed as well.

More software-as-a-service risk management solutions must come online to integrate resilience best practices across enterprises and increase visibility across global supply chains. These should connect the dots from suppliers’ suppliers to customers’ customers and everyone in between.

In the next three years, look for more companies to join the SCR&R journey. As more companies get engaged in the SCR&R journey, getting more aware and educated, exercising new best practices for supply chain risk management, the bottom-line hope is more resilient enterprises around the world.

Gregory L. Schlegel is founder of The Supply Chain Risk Management Consortium and former executive in residence, Supply Chain Risk Management at Lehigh University.