All of the pieces involve managing various internal processes, while keeping increasingly complex external risks under control as well.
Although two of the biggest concerns in supply-chain management are risk and sustainability, they are often viewed separately when they should be addressed concurrently in strategic and operational plans, according to a report by The Conference Board. The report goes on to warn that keeping the two areas separate may ultimately put firms at considerable risk.
The report notes that there are two broad categories of internal supply chain risk: actions taken within the firm and the firm’s policy decisions. It also lists a number of internal supply chain risk categories, including policies, resources, operational and time compression.
In contrast, external supply chain risk categories include governmental actions, infrastructure deficiencies, supplier difficulties, logistical problems, price, terrorism, natural disasters and accidents.
Sustainability includes environment factors, social responsibility and organizational sustainability, all of which invariably having consequences in the others. Consequently the most effective companies are now addressing supply chain risk and sustainability as critically linked pieces of their strategic plans and operations.
According to Nada Sanders of the EcoNautics Sustainability Institute at Lehigh University, with more and more conscientious consumers and growing limits to resource availability, successful companies in the future will be those that have both sustainable supply chains and operations.