There are only seven ways in which a supply chain can fail. Each failure (also known as failure mode) involves the loss of at least one of the core capacities listed.
- The capacity to acquire materials (maintain supply).
- The capacity to ship and/or transport products.
- The capacity to communicate.
- The capacity to convert (internal manufacturing operations).
- The human resources (personnel) capacity.
- The capacity to maintain financial flows.
- The capacity to distribute products to customers including consumers.
In this approach, companies focus on avoiding or managing a limited number of predictable outcomes.
In other words, while the sources of risk are unlimited, the outcomes of risk events are not. Given that these are predictable outcomes, a resilient supply chain is one that can recreate or maintain the capabilities that support each of these seven operational capacities.
This mission is neither easy nor simple. However, it is easier and simpler to accomplish than attempting to prevent thousands of risks, many of which are external and outside the control of the company.
Generating and maintaining agility requires not just technology but also the right human capital. Before leveraging technology, organisations should invest in cultivating leaders with the skillsets and mindset necessary to confront the existential challenges to come.
The talent pool – both inside and outside your organisation – has no shortage of possible future-ready leaders. But seeding your entire organisation with these competencies may require proactive, imaginative scanning at all levels of the hierarchy for high potentials.
Indeed, the most far-seeing and innovative leaders are increasingly concerned about upskilling and holistic growth, far beyond their core business functions.
Now is the time, as you reimagine the post pandemic organisation, to pay careful attention to the effect of your choices on organisational norms and culture.
Avoiding the pitfalls of remote working requires thinking carefully about leadership and management in a hybrid virtual world. Interactions between leaders and teams provide an essential locus for creating the social cohesion and the unified hybrid virtual culture that organisations need.