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ASCM Insights

A Collaborative Approach to Supply Chain Resilience for Safer Nations

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Resilience is something of a theme here at ASCM. It landed number 3 among this year's Top 10 Supply Chain Trends. Our blog is chock full of articles exploring resilience as a critical supply chain capability. Later this month we’ll launch the highly anticipated Supply Chain Resilience Certificate, designed to help supply chain professionals expand their resilience expertise. And we partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit to create the Resilient Supply Chain Benchmark, which enables organizations to assess their modern supply chain resilience-building capabilities. All of these efforts, on the heels of the Great Recession and COVID-19, underscore ASCM's commitment to enabling truly resilient supply chains across the world.

This week, we’re learning that resilient supply chains do more than withstand disruption and keep customers happy. According to a new article in Homeland Security Today, there’s also a direct connection between supply chain resilience and increased homeland security. The story explains that significant supply shortages stemming from economic factors, natural disasters, regulatory concerns and health crises have had an outsized influence on national security. This includes the impact of the pandemic; shortages of essential goods; and port closures due to flooding, wind damage or labor struggles.

One commonly cited threat to national security is the necessity of semiconductors for the production of electronic goods in everything from automotive to healthcare to military systems. Semiconductor supply was an important part of Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act — and this week, the White House continues to prioritize resilience and security. President Biden announced a new cabinet-level Council on Supply Chain Resilience, which will be “dedicated to ensuring the resilience of supply chains for critical infrastructure needed to deliver essential services to the American people.”

Supply Chain Dive reports that the council will convene “nearly every member of the president’s cabinet” to shore up industrial resilience. Further, the White House is creating liaisons, meetings and even offices dedicated to coordinating supply chain policy across multiple agencies.

In the Homeland Security Today article, Bob Kolasky, senior vice president for critical infrastructure at Exiger, says there are six pillars of resilience strategy:

  1. Enhanced data- and information-sharing across government and between government and the private sector — especially information about supply chain vulnerabilities
  2. Less dependence on the supply chains of U.S. adversaries
  3. A commitment to building alliances
  4. The use of government tools to accelerate markets and incentivize resilience
  5. A focus on our most competitive materials
  6. Improved planning for future shocks.

“For the homeland security community, each of these pillars carries implications,” Kolasky writes. “Ensuring that security and resilience considerations are part of acquisition decisions for critical goods and technologies should be standard business practice.”

Collaborative effort

Of course, the commitment to more collaborative, more visible supply chains starts with industry professionals like you. Look no further than ASCM’s new Supply Chain Resilience Certificate to gain comprehensive understanding of key concepts, practices and trends related to organizational and strategic supply chain resilience. Sign up now, and you’ll be among the first notified of the program’s launch.

About the Author

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE CEO, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi is chief executive officer of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the largest organization for supply chain and the global pacesetter of organizational transformation, talent development and supply chain innovation. During his tenure, ASCM has significantly expanded its services to corporations, individuals and communities. Its revenue has more than doubled, and the association successfully completed three mergers in response to both heightened industry awareness and the vast and ongoing global impact driven by supply chains. Previously, Eshkenazi was the managing director of the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services. He may be contacted through ascm.org.

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