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Managing Supply Chain Risk - That's for Somebody Else to Worry About, Right?

The recent occurrence of faulty ignition switches in General Motors cars should serve as a wakeup call to companies that lack good visibility into their global supply chains. But most have failed to implement adequate supply-chain risk-management programs that could head off such problems.

Thatís the view of Yves Leclerc, managing director with business consultancy West Monroe Partners. Despite a raft of natural disasters and quality failures over the years, he said, many companies have yet to step up to the requirements of an effective risk-management effort.

You might think that 13 deaths and the recall of 6.1 million cars since February would have top manufacturing executives scurrying to adopt controls that would prevent such nightmares from occurring in their own organizations. And maybe they are. But neither the 2013 floods in Thailand nor the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan has resulted in sweeping risk-management measures, Leclerc said. The business world, it would seem, has a short memory.

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