Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. Today, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “The Five Most Common Supply Chain Risks and What You Can Do To Avoid Them” from Aravo and Purchasing Magazine.

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What a great title! And when I first downloaded the PDF and saw that it was only three pages long, I said to myself “This is my type of whitepaper!”

Unfortunately, though the whitepaper touched on some good points, three pages – actually two because one was a cover page – didn’t seem like enough for covering the topic of avoiding five supply chain risks. Nonetheless, there are some excerpts worth repeating here.

For example, the first supply chain risk mentioned is “Trusting historical trends.” With regard to this “risk,” the whitepaper advises the reader to “utilize processes and solutions that can automatically update information from suppliers, allowing you to track against current data that will be meaningful to supplier performance in the next year…such as credit rating, delivery performance for the past six months, insurance certifications, product quality for the past six months, etc.”

Yes, that is indeed advisable. But the whitepaper fails to go into depth about what exactly the reader should be looking for in such data and what actions should be taken upon identifying red flags.

Another excerpt I’ll cite is from the last “risk” listed, “Limiting risk assessment by relying on too few factors.” The advice given in this section of the whitepaper is “collect and analyze multiple metrics on suppliers. Be sure to include insurance certificates, supplier delivery performance, product quality, factory audit results, etc.”

Again, good, if not too general, advice. A little redundant with the first “risk,” also.

If you’re looking for quick, high-level bullet points on supply risk avoidance, maybe this is the whitepaper for you. You can download your own copy from Purchasing Magazine’s Web site (registration required). But I tend to be more of a fan of Aravo’s blog, @Risk, which explores supply chain risk in more detail and is actually quite a thought provoking read. I recommend that you check that out as well.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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