The government warnings about tainted imports from China are ominous: poisonous chemicals found in toothpaste. Detained imports of farm-raised Chinese seafood and lead paint Thomas the Tank Engine toys. Contaminated pet foods. While much government attention focuses on the problems in China, experts say the emergence of these deficient goods highlights the risks associated with today's global supply chains. The far-flung networks of suppliers and transportation systems connecting them to their destinations present a new set of challenges.
Longer supply chains mean more participants, and with that, come bigger risks. "There are more people that companies need to watch and make sure they trust," says Yossi Sheffi, professor of engineering at MIT and an expert in risk analysis and supply chain management. Supplier visibility is a problem for many organizations, according to Mark Hillman, a research director at AMR Research, who says many companies operating globally don't know every player in their supply chain as well as they should. In addition, increased speed means decreased time for product checks.
Source: CIO, http://cio.com
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