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As a bio-pharmaceutical company that develops innovative drug treatments, Nektar Therapeutics takes the safety and security of its supply chain very seriously.
Yingming Yue, associate director of supplier management at Nektar, says risk management " is really a matter of life and death for us."
Yue defines supply chain risk management as "a systemic approach or process to find and identify risks related to supplier disruptions and a systemic approach to mitigate those risks."
At Nektar a supply chain risk management program begins with defining the risk. "This is where we ask what could go wrong in this process and what would be the consequences," Yue says. "We look at how likely we would be to detect the risk and we try and quantify risks that are not easily prioritized."
The next step is to consider risk mitigation options, he says. "We ask if this a risk we can tolerate? If not, do we have the necessary resources to mitigate the risk. Also we look at the effects of mitigating the risk - would we be replacing it with a new risk?"
Finally, the risk management program has to be communicated, he says. "If you want a program to be very successful, you have to capture the costs and benefits and communicate those to all the stakeholders so they can see the progress being made," Yue says.
Risk management is not a one-off project, he says. "Yesterday's risk may not be a risk today, so it is very dynamic. We have to re-prioritize all the time."
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