In Supply Chain Management, Embrace the Supply Chain Chaos Monkey

Natural disasters. Market shifts. Political meddling or domestic unrest in distant countries.

Supply chains were born to be disrupted, and the results for ill-prepared apparel companies can be simply devastating. Simply put, it’s not unusual for supply chains to look more like supply spiderwebs that span across multiple countries around the globe. Several strands of that web are inevitably going to be vulnerable to unexpected disruptions.

Forbes has a suggestion -- prepare your company by embracing the chaos monkey:

Supply chain problems crop up periodically, sometimes due to economic growth, sometimes due to natural disasters, sometimes due to human error. Whatever the cause, many businesses are critically dependent on a number of vendors. If that is your situation, you need a Chaos Monkey. […]

Designate one person from your team to be the day’s Chaos Monkey. Have him or her go down to the receiving dock or the parts bin and pick an item at random. (It will be more fun if you hand your Chaos Monkey a banana to carry around.) Now imagine a call from that part’s supplier telling you they can’t ship orders for three weeks. What does it take to keep your plant running? Make the calls. Ask the primary vendor if he has another plant that could ship the part. Ask alternative vendors if they have the ability to ship this week. Run the exercise as if it were real. One day it will be.

It’s good advice, and it speaks to a broader truth when it comes to apparel supply chain management: Companies that anticipate supply chain disruption will have the flexibility, resilience, and preparedness to respond to one and keep on thriving regardless what sort of chaos the global market may bring.

That’s our mission here at The Apparel Logistics Group. We eat, breathe and dream global apparel supply chain management. We’ve been involved in the apparel industry for more than 80 years – with 30 years specifically involved with supply chain management -- and have experienced just about every disruption imaginable.

And, as result, we’ve developed a vast array of apparel third party logistics services that are tried, tested and true, including:

In other words, giving an employee a banana and having him run wreaking havoc in your company’s operations all day isn’t a bad idea. But for true supply chain peace of mind, it’s an even better idea to outsource the vulnerable parts to pros like us.

Give us a call to learn more, or take a look at our complete line of apparel 3PL services.

Posted: 4/5/2012 1:38:12 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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