Ensure the Supply Chain or Risk Disaster

Commissioned by AT&T, the study found that when things go wrong two key factors play havoc with a company, becoming catastrophic when overlooked by management when developing a business continuity plan. According to one of the three members of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at MSU’s Eli Broad Graduate School of Management who performed analysis for the study, Assistant Professor George A. Zsidisin, reduced visibility and reduced control means that many managers just don’t know what their suppliers are doing to ensure business continuity. With the other two, Associate Professor Gary L. Ragatz and Professor Steven A. Melnyk, in-depth case studies were developed of an electronics manufacturer, a major international aerospace suppler and a European telecommunications corporation.

According to the study, best practice managers have not only acted proactively to mitigate risks of supply chain disruption, in doing so they may have created a competitive edge for their companies. The study points to four key areas that differentiate a good supply chain business continuity plan. “With more companies depending on their supply chains,” says Dr. Zsidisin, “they are exposed to the risks inherent in them. Companies can manage and live with those risks, however, by making sure they and their partner-suppliers develop and deploy strong business continuity plans.”

The study and a white paper are available at www.bus.mus/edu/msu/research.html

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