UPDATED:: Quake in Japan illustrated fragility of “Global Supply Chain” & flaws in conventional “wisdom”


Business continuity planning life cycle

Business continuity planning life cycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The case for a Company to maintain a current and comprehensive Business Continuity Plan does not come much better than this example from HP!

Modern global supply chains, experts say, mirror complex biological systems like the human body in many ways. They can be remarkably resilient and self-healing, yet at times quite vulnerable to some specific, seemingly small weakness — as if a tiny tear in a crucial artery were to cause someone to suffer heart failure.

via Quake in Japan Broke a Link in Global Supply Chain – NYTimes.com

Of course EVERYONE hopes that they never have to contend with what the Japanese nation have had to live through. But, at a time in the history of our planet, when the impact of events on the other side of the planet have truly global repercussions, “HOPE” isn’t much of a strategy! 

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Harvard Business Review: Complex Risk Management


I wouldn’t want anyone to get too excited and think that I have added Italian to my extensive repertoire of (one) language! I have to thank one of my colleagues at Ontonix for the translation of this article from Harvard Business Review, Italy. The author – whose Linkedin profile can be accessed from the link in his name (below) – is not a member of the Ontonix team but is extremely well qualified to put forward an informed opinion.

Supply Chain and Systemic risk

The article is not, exclusively, about Japan or Supply Chains. Nor is it about just about Ontonix but it IS about gaining some understanding of complexity: what it is; why it cannot be detected by conventional risk management; how it can impact and why ignorance can’t really be an excuse.

Supply chain complexityI have written numerous blogs and several articles on the frailty of, in particular, Global Supply Chains. With very good reason. Thankfully, not every event, like that which struck Japan last month, causes such vast devastation and loss of life. But many natural disasters and, increasingly, the man-made variety pose a huge threat to businesses that are already struggling to deal with a turbulent global economy and have “lean” business models that assume the greatest threat(s) to their success come from risks that they have encountered before so can (in theory) prepare for…

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