Risk is an inherent part of the business world. Some people thrive on taking leaps of faith with unknown outcomes, while others may avoid risks at all costs. Whoever happens to be in charge of the company, or at least shipping and procurement, it's important to note that disruptions are inevitable. There are some that are easier to track and measure like weather patterns and spikes in oil prices, and there are wild cards such as terrorist activity and natural disasters that can throw a proverbial wrench into production and wreak havoc on a wide range of supply chains.

In times of crisis, the vital thing to do is to get back on track as soon as possible. Of course, this is easier said than done when materials have been destroyed or certain regions are unreachable. To prevent production-halting delays, companies must invest in supplemental suppliers for their global sourcing efforts to keep customers and clients satisfied in the face of disaster.

Beating the odds
Keeping up with the huge demand of a popular product can be difficult, though it's even more arduous when the item in question contains thousands of little parts and a sophisticated internal and external system. The gadget in question is the Apple Watch, which was released in late April 2015 with a lot of hype and apprehension surrounding it. It's no secret that Apple experienced some trouble assembling the hundreds of thousands of watches that were preordered, but the tech magnate came through on everyone, even though the wait time jumped from weeks to months. According to SupplyChain247, Apple has multiple suppliers for single parts of its gizmos a methods which allows for some wiggle room when it comes to production.

Should one manufacturer fall behind in numbers the others can pick up the slack so the company can deliver the proper number of products on the promised date. This gives Apple a strong advantage over other tech companies that want the same flexibility but cannot afford to have that many links in a given supply chain. The strong enterprises get stronger while the ones below do their best to catch up - it's a game that only the strong can win.

Stay on track
While Apple has the solutions in place to mitigate the problem of supply chain disruption other companies are not so prepared. There are countless ways to muck up a supply chain so many so that it seems as though everything is a risk. Procurement Leaders reported that government sanctions in a given country are sure-fire causes of disruption. Even though there may be more relaxed laws in a given country the regulations for production and sourcing may be far more strict than on other areas of the world. Ensure full complicity by making a check list or going though the facility with an inspector before production starts.

Another issue that affects many areas of the world is terrorism. It's erratic dangerous and has no clear end in sight. Not only is this detrimental for the citizens of war-torn countries but the supply chains are also at risk. Canadian Underwriter outlined the problems with terrorism for the world of industry and the source noted that many of the cities and countries that are currently under attack are ones that play pivotal roles in global sourcing.

Suppliers should be aware of the risks involved in the supply chain and do their best to avoid them. However, not every issue can be mitigated with paperwork and smart structuring. Risk is inherent and sometimes business is a bumpy ride.

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Carole Boyle

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