"As supply risk continues to grow in importance as a business challenge, supply risk awareness has been increasing. As supply risk has become a more mainstream issue for firms and addressing it is spreading beyond just early adopters, more information and solutions have become available for addressing supply risk identification, management and mitigation. Firms can choose from many software solutions, can hire consultants, read books, and attend meetings and conferences on the subject. However, addressing supply chain risk can still be intimidating, even overwhelming, to many procurement and supply management professionals.
Supply chain risk is nothing new. It has been here all along. Events such as suppliers having financial problems and going out of business or sending customers defective products are common and not new occurrences. They have always been typical, everyday problems. Financial and quality problems didn’t used to be lumped into a specific category called supply risk. Managing these problems has always been seen as part of the buyer’s job. Perhaps this is why “buyer beware” is an enduring concept from Roman times.
So how has supply chain risk evolved into The Next Big Thing? Supply risks have been increasing and going beyond the everyday challenges to a new level. They have been exacerbated by a number of developments, such as globalization and far-flung supply chains that make supply management more challenging. Data breaches, now happening almost daily, were not a huge issue before the digital era. Risk incidents have gotten more visibility and have had a wider impact, sending stock prices tumbling and tarnishing corporate reputations. With the Internet and social media, bad news travels quickly: melamine in Chinese milk, volcano eruptions, tainted drugs. The notoriety of supply risks has made supply chains become even more critical and certainly better known."