September 18, 2014

Tracing 3TG to Their Source of Origin Proves Onerous Even for the DOC

Jon Bovit

The U.S. Commerce Department's list of smelters may help companies track 3TG, but perhaps not as much as expected.

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently published its much-awaited list of all know smelters and refiners known to process tantalum, tin, tungsten or gold, the so-called conflict minerals.

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August 22, 2014

Parts Level Risk Management & Mitigation: What’s Next in Global Supply Chain Management

Jon Bovit

A new generation of risk management and mitigation techniques and technologies is needed to address a range of industry-wide challenges facing major global industries including high-tech and electronics, automotive and the life sciences.

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August 07, 2014

High Tech Companies Are Pioneering Supply Chain Risk Mitigation & Resiliency

Jon Bovit

High tech companies have historically found innovative ways to make their supply chains agile, flexible and responsive to supply and demand shifts. Still, pain points remain. For example, they are faced with local regulatory pressures, supply chain risk and the rapidly increasing costs of outsourcing in traditionally low-cost geographies. These pain points are compelling electronics OEMs to restructure their global supply chains in order to respond more quickly and flexibly to new threats and challenges.

If history is a guide, the high tech industry might have an advantage in pioneering much-needed supply chain risk management practices. Technology companies have traditionally been at the forefront of tackling significant supply chain issues and achieving a competitive edge in designing best practices that benefit their own bottom lines while influencing how others operate both within the high tech sector and in adjacent industries.

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July 22, 2014

What's Next for Conflict Minerals Regulations?

Jon Bovit

By now, most people working in the supply chain industry know all too well about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s provision requiring tracking and tracing conflict minerals.

But, even the most knowledgeable people working day-in and day-out with the regulation and its related compliance issues are still confused and frustrated by the whole thing, especially those in the high-tech and automotive sectors who have been most directly affected.

This was apparent at the recent IPC Conflict Minerals Conference held in Santa Clara, California. Industry executives, well-versed lawyers and compliance-solution providers openly voiced their concerns, doubts and worries about the scope of the law, its inherent complexity, ongoing compliance issues and program maintenance.

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July 18, 2014

Conflict Minerals Year One: One Year In, and Everyone Looking Ahead

Jon Bovit

CM-smelterIt was the headache most supply chain professionals expected it to be. The first year of conflict minerals reporting required by U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought with it frustration, confusion and varying levels of compliance.

We’ve seen first hand and heard anecdotally about all sorts of challenges related to regulatory compliance, legal interpretations (or misinterpretations), source of origin identification, and tracking the red-flag 3TG minerals of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold coming from or around the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

It’s been a roller-coaster year, and very few companies have been able to achieve full compliance with year one conflict minerals reporting. In fact, a majority of report filings did not even satisfy the SEC’s instructions, according to an analysis by global professional services firm Resources Global Professionals, something Kevin Deely, RGP’s senior practice director for supply chain risk and compliance, will discuss in more detail during our upcoming webcast.

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July 10, 2014

Automotive Supply Chain Resiliency in the Post-Recession World

Jon Bovit

As the world economy improves and end-customer spending picks up, companies will encounter a supply chain risk they may not have experienced in some time: ensuring that suppliers are ready to meet higher demand. 

The cyclic transition from running lean to ramping up always involves some rough patches. And, while veteran supply chain professionals may have lived through their share of ups and downs, handling this phase of growth doesn’t seem to get easier.

Therein lies the potential risk, and the chance to improve your supply chain resilience.

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July 03, 2014

Automotive Supply Chain Resiliency in the Post-Recession World

Jon Bovit

As the world economy improves and end-customer spending picks up, companies will encounter a supply chain risk they may not have experienced in some time: ensuring that suppliers are ready to meet higher demand.

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June 24, 2014

The ROI for Resiliency: Turning Commodity Managers Into Risk Managers

Jon Bovit

 

Resiliency is about protecting your supply chain from disruptive events and recovering quickly when a damaging risk turns your operations upside down. But, it’s much more than that. Resiliency is also about shielding your bottom line from long-term negative impact.

Interestingly, though, the return on investment (ROI) that comes with implementing supply chain risk mitigation strategies and resiliency solutions is sometimes overshadowed. Because companies often approach resiliency in a knee-jerk, reactive way and put business continuity plans in place only after a disaster strikes, there’s less time spent assessing the immediate and future financial benefits generated by a comprehensive risk management initiative.

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June 10, 2014

Bindiya Vakil, CEO of Resilinc, Discusses Supply Chain Resiliency

Jon Bovit

Successful supply chain relationships are built on one core principle: Trust. Without it, the supply chain falls apart.

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May 30, 2014

What Supply Chain Resiliency Looks Like at Palo Alto Networks

Jon Bovit

Some people may think that supply chain resiliency programs are something only “veteran” companies engage in. They’re the ones with thousands of suppliers, many years of established supply chain practices and complex operations stretching to every corner of the globe. By default, they must be the ones exposed to greater risk, the common thinking sometimes goes.

But, that’s not the case. Younger companies with growing supply chains aren’t immune to supply chain disruptions or their impact. They face many of the same concerns bigger or “older” companies do. It’s the nature of business today–complexity and risk are inherent challenges all companies need to manage, internally or with third-party support.

Just ask Rachel Yabut, manager of supply chain and NPI at Palo Alto Networks Inc.

“Palo Alto Networks decided to invest in supply chain resiliency with Resilinc because we determined early on how significant a risk can impact our supply chain,” said Yabut, who is in charge of identifying supply chain risks and mitigating them. “We’re a young and growing company. We saw that Resilinc was the perfect outsourced model for us to be able to define what those risks are and apply mitigations to them.”

So far, the enterprise security company’s resiliency program has reaped several benefits. The most important of which has been the company’s ability to keep its revenue goals intact despite part inventory and availability issues within the supplier base that could have negatively affected Palo Alto Networks’ product shipments, she noted. 

Curiously, too, as a result of getting Resilinc’d, Palo Alto Networks’ conversations with insurance companies have shifted. When the company mentions that it has a resiliency program in place and uses supply chain risk mitigation solutions, the insurance agents’ interest is piqued and they want to know more about the steps the company is taking and how those steps are taken.

As Yabut noted, it doesn’t matter where your company is on the growth curve, embedding risk mitigation into the corporate culture is vital to any company’s success.

Take a look at this video and hear more about how Palo Alto Networks shaped its risk management strategy, or how Juniper Networks is doing the same.
 

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