Today, the supply chain world iterates faster than at any other point in history. Disruptions whether related to climate change, trade wars, or a no-deal Brexit are a given, and black swan events aren't surprises anymore. We know that the next event is coming fast and supply chains will have to react. So why have we not burned that understanding into our business DNA? Why are we still trying to leverage strategies developed 50 years ago and technologies unaligned to today's needs?
What I mean is that every supply chain, everywhere, should be prepared at a moment's notice to shut down, pivot, and spin up whatever operations it needs to, wherever it needs them. I'm of the strong opinion that if supply chain professionals reframe their thinking and look at uncertainties as opportunities then they will thrive.
This thought came to me while reading an article on US trade disputes with China. Or maybe it was an article on Brexit. While I understand how conflicts arise, I have a hard time accepting why they are as adversely impactful to supply chains as they are.
Contingency planning should cover for every possibility, and the overreliance on any single supplier or region is not smart business anymore. If the year was 1492 or 1839 or 1979, I could understand the desire to optimize a linear supply chain. That's not the case today. With the advent of cloud technology and the reality of global markets fallout from any one country's instability or trade war can be mitigated.