Executive Briefings

Visual Mapping of Supply Chain Risks Improves Response

Having a visual map that overlays a company's key facilities, suppliers and lanes with actual or potential risks helps enable faster reaction to supply chain disruptions, says Chris Kushmaul, director of supply chain solutions at IDV Solutions.

Companies trying to monitor and track risks in a global, multi-echelon supply chain can be easily overwhelmed with mountains of data on weather, earthquakes, armed conflicts, terror threats, strikes, political unrest and infectious diseases, to name a few. “The challenge with so much data is that a lot of it doesn’t pertain to your assets or your facilities or your shipments, so you miss things,” says Kushmaul. “What you want is the ability to pinpoint the risks that threaten the assets important to you.”

The first step is getting this individualized view is to diagram a company’s value stream on a map and then overlay the potential risks. “IDV Solutions pulls in risk data from more than 100 sources around the world. By overlaying that information onto a map of network assets and product flows, we can alert a company when a risk situation and a network asset intersect,” he says.

The “value stream” map becomes the basis of a visual command center and should include physical assets, such as plants, warehouses and cross-docks. The map also should depict important transit points, like ocean ports and airports, major transport lanes, and the location of crucial suppliers, Kushmaul says. “We can alert users to risks of all kinds – whether it is a delayed flight carrying a critical shipment or a tsunami that shuts down an entire region – and assess the magnitude of supply disruption. The sooner you get the information, the more time you have to react.”

To view the video in its entirety, click here

Companies trying to monitor and track risks in a global, multi-echelon supply chain can be easily overwhelmed with mountains of data on weather, earthquakes, armed conflicts, terror threats, strikes, political unrest and infectious diseases, to name a few. “The challenge with so much data is that a lot of it doesn’t pertain to your assets or your facilities or your shipments, so you miss things,” says Kushmaul. “What you want is the ability to pinpoint the risks that threaten the assets important to you.”

The first step is getting this individualized view is to diagram a company’s value stream on a map and then overlay the potential risks. “IDV Solutions pulls in risk data from more than 100 sources around the world. By overlaying that information onto a map of network assets and product flows, we can alert a company when a risk situation and a network asset intersect,” he says.

The “value stream” map becomes the basis of a visual command center and should include physical assets, such as plants, warehouses and cross-docks. The map also should depict important transit points, like ocean ports and airports, major transport lanes, and the location of crucial suppliers, Kushmaul says. “We can alert users to risks of all kinds – whether it is a delayed flight carrying a critical shipment or a tsunami that shuts down an entire region – and assess the magnitude of supply disruption. The sooner you get the information, the more time you have to react.”

To view the video in its entirety, click here