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BCAW Day 1 – Supply Chain Disruptions

It is the first day of Business Continuity Awareness Week (BCAW) 2019 and we would like to start the week by talking about supply chain disruptions.

At the start of the month the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) published a review of their Supply Chain Resilience reports from 2010 through to 2018.  Despite the BCI’s headline claim of “fewer supply chain disruptions”, looking at the data I would say it is more a case of “situation no change”.  Looking specifically at the number of organisations reporting at least one supply chain disruption over the period 2012 to 2018 (data from 2010 and 2011 is in a slightly different format) and discounting respondents who replied “don’t know”; the picture looks pretty static:

Obviously, it is impossible to tell if last year’s apparent fall is the start of a genuine downward trend.  The top three causes of disruption over the whole period are also very familiar: IT/telecoms outages, severe weather and transport network disruptions.

Although less widely reported, the review does find some evidence of potentially important long-term trends.  Unsurprisingly the cots of supply chain disruptions appears to be going up over time.  Perhaps more unexpectedly, the number of “key suppliers” that organisations report is gradually falling (although there is no deeper analysis of this apparent trend).  Finally, and most importantly, there is evidence of a gradual improvement of the consideration of supply chain issues in business continuity management programmes; with more organisations looking for suppliers to align with recognised good practice guidance and also an increase in the use of joint exercises to assess the effectiveness of suppliers’ arrangements.

We will be blogging away on business continuity stories all week; follow the link to the BCI’s BCAW homepage to find details of other events and activities.