Massive supply chains may result in leaks Having a large, well-established supply chain may seem like a dream come true for some companies that are struggling to get their sourcing, manufacturing and shipping in order. A large network may increase the ease with which a business can get its finished goods to market, but it also ups the chance that corporate secrets, new designs or product updates will be revealed before a company is ready to release the information.

The risks of globalization
When working with contractors, manufacturers and logistics companies all over the world, a company lacks the ability to control leaks. While employees at the center of the operation's headquarters may keep their mouths shut, workers putting the products together or shipping the goods may snap a photo or post the information online, which can be hugely detrimental to a business' bottom line, especially if they count on the element of surprise to boost sales. 

One example of leaks due to a massive corporate supply chain is consistent rumors of new Apple products. The company puts a huge focus on secrecy at its U.S. facilities, but fails to keep the lid on its plans overseas, and the leaks quickly make their way back to the U.S.

"Apple's security practices are targeted at making sure U.S. employees don't leak stuff, but everything comes out of China now," an anonymous Apple employee told Ars Technica. "I think Apple's secrecy mode is really outdated."

Leaks come from everywhere
With the increasing access to technology across the world, it's becoming harder to contain leaks, especially when many manufacturing facilities are located thousands of miles away in Asia. Workers often have access to their own mobile devices and internet connections, and it's easy for them to snap a picture of a new product or write a blog post about the latest product they've started working on.

Even if employees are kept in the dark about the actual finalized product, they can still leak information that may not get out in a smaller supply chain. Workers could snap a picture of a new material being used in the manufacturing process, leak information about new strategic sourcing initiatives or even give away critical information about procurement strategies.

Although workers close to home are often blamed for leaks, it can't be disputed that outsourcing work puts a major dent in a company's ability to keep secrets. The larger its overseas operations become, the harder it is to control information and keep details private.
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