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VIETNAM SUPPLY CHAIN LOOKOUT 2020
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WOMEN IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME?
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SOURCING / BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - FERGUSON GLOBAL

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The Project Manager (PMO) is a highly visible role that is responsible for driving the transformation activities for Singapore Replenishment Center (SRC) and 3rd party service providers’ warehouses migration from current location to a new location. This leader will lead cross-functional internal and external resources and has overall accountability of the execution and performance of projects and transformation initiatives.

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The 5 hidden risks in your supply chain

2015-04-06 23:32:11

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Modern manufacturing is no longer as simple as Henry Ford’s first moving assembly line in 1913. In 2015, multiple lines are often running at the same time, with parts attached by robotic arms.

Ford also sourced most of his supplies locally from the new parts factories around Detroit built to support the auto industry. It’s likely that he wouldn’t recognize today’s supply chain with parts and raw materials imported from around the world. Ford’s 1913 supply chain was vulnerable, but not to the same degree as manufacturers find in the 21st century.

At first risk managers often focus on “how quickly can we replace a machine that breaks down” when assessing risk in a manufacturing facility, says Scott Higgins, president, commercial accounts with Travelers. Then they begin to notice that the risk is more about the people, especially in small to mid-sized companies, defined as those with revenues of $50 million or less.

 

Here are five supply chain risk factors that rely on the “human element.” What other, similar risks can you identify in your organization? Please let us know in the comment section.

Man welding machine by hand SS Chaiyapruk Chanwatthana

1. Critical employees

“Smaller companies may buy equipment to make a product but they rely on one person to maintain it, fixing machines on the factory floor without sending them out for repair,” Higgins explains. If that specially trained worker is out on vacation or decides to leave the company, no one else may be able to complete repairs as quickly, causing extensive delays. If other arrangements have to be made, they may not be as satisfactory or as efficient.

Older worker with new trainee SS  Marcin Balcerzak

2. Untrained new employees

About one-third of work-related injuries involve employees who have been on the job for less than 90 days, according to Higgins. This is where the biggest workers’ comp costs come in.

“About half of small to mid-sized companies often don’t have a formal onboarding program for new employees,” he adds. Often, the training is on the job, with a more senior employee, who may have modified a machine or process to suit their own skill level.

If a new employee is injured, staffing levels and productivity are affected—another form of supply chain disruption.

Video cameras inside manufacturing plant SS Vasin Lee

3. What the home office doesn’t know…

Higgins explains that businesses create protocols in the home office, usually located within the U.S., and they assume that the protocols are followed to the letter in more remote locations. He encourages clients to use video cameras to record all activity in their facilities for all three shifts. The clients then review the videos with their plant managers, risk managers and Travelers risk consultants to find where the protocols break down, affecting the supply chain.

Blue arrow reads downsizing SS Tashatuvango

4. Insufficient staffing levels

Manufacturers, like other businesses, are operating with narrow margins in this economy and have cut back on staff, Higgins notes. Some manufacturing jobs, even using the most sophisticated machines available, still need more than one person to produce the final product. With not enough people on the factory floor, the time to go from raw material to finish product gets longer and longer. The longer it takes to get the goods to the buyers, the longer it takes for the company to earn revenue.

Trucks lined up at Long Beach Port during strike_AP_NickUt

5. Labor issues

Businesses may not expect labor disputes in other industries to have a significant effect on their supply chains. But when the longshoremen’s union conducted a work slowdown at the port of Long Beach, Calif., followed by a strike, the port was backed up for 45 days. Companies couldn’t get goods out of the containers that were stuck on the ships, and they couldn’t fill them up again to ship goods out either.

Higgins advises companies to factor in the human element into their assessment of supply chain risk, creating as many scenarios as they can think of. The more companies understand the effects of the “hidden human element,” the better prepared they’ll be for supply chain disruptions from inside as well as outside the organization.

Author: Rosalie L. Donlon