As the world’s fastest-growing procurement and supply chain event, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2023 was a disruptive learning and networking event that showcased some of the industry’s top speakers across innovation, thought leadership and strategy.
Supply Chain Risk & Resilience Fireside
Micahel Carson, Partner and Head of Supply Chain and Logistics Advisory EMEA at Cushman & Wakefield, deep dives into supply chain risk and resilience at Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE.
The challenges of navigating uncertainty
Reflecting on the challenges when navigating uncertainty in the supply chain, Carson notes a lack of consistency when it comes to measuring risk across supply chains.
As such he introduces the concept of the ‘manufacturing risk index’, highlighting the importance of assessing both the likelihood and impact of risks, drawing parallels with risk management in national security.
"There is no consistent measure of risk. Every supply chain has its own nuances, pitfalls, etc., so there is no global measure of risk,” explains Carson. "Risks are only a challenge when they actually happen. In preparation, it's about giving yourself choices, knowing more today than yesterday."
Delving into the ways in which organisations can assess vulnerabilities in their supply chains, Carson stresses the need for a framework to evaluate risks and build a better understanding of the global environment.
Carson also touches on the human factor in decision-making, acknowledging the value of experience and gut instinct.
"Having a framework around known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns helps to view the world in a structured way,” says Carson.
He adds: "You don't know what you don't know. It's acknowledging what we don't know and seeking the answers for those [...] Scenario modelling gives you the opportunity to run endless numbers of scenarios, stretching hypotheses to see different outcomes."
Building procurement teams from scratch
When it comes to building procurement teams from scratch and upskilling employees when it comes to risk and resilience, Carson emphasises the need for a team’s willingness to adapt to change in the rapidly evolving business landscape.
"The willingness to adapt is a key skill. It's not optional anymore to not assess risk in our supply chains to some degree,” he explains, adding: "Continuous improvement within an organization is driven by an imperative for change, which comes from assessing risk and gaining a deeper understanding of the business."
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