Will your supply chain deliver when you need them most?

It’s has been a busy week here at Blue Rock Risk, lots to be getting on with and some great opportunities ahead.

In a few spare moments, I was reflecting a national flooding response exercise I was fortunate to be part of last month. Over a 1000 staff were involved, incident rooms were open across the country testing the deployment of national flood assets, and a wide range of technology and processes improvements were operational for the first time. One of the major new developments was the engagement of a national haulage contract to move assets across the county, a job that in previous years had been managed solely in house.

Whether you are a small business, government organisation or multi-national your supply chain is absolutely crucial to your success. The services you deliver, the products you ship and many other factors in between are all dependant on the actions of others and vital to ensure your customers are happy. Just think back through the last few years and the issues major organisations have had with the delivery of goods at Christmas for example.

One of the key areas of learning in the deployment of this new haulage contract was the level of capability and resilience it afforded and it wasn’t simply about the detail in the contract. Yes of course it was a commercial agreement and profit needed to be made, but both parties had entered into the agreement in the spirit of partnership. The success of the partnership mattered to both sides and as a result the personal relationships built would ensure that regardless of any issues faced, both parties would work closely together to get the job done.

‘Let our advance worrying become advanced thinking and planning’

 Winston Churchill

If you are responsible for operations and/or resilience in your organisation, are you satisfied that you and your team have the necessary working relationships with supply chain partners that will pull out all the stops in your time of need?

We can all profess to fully understanding all the commercial agreements underpinning our supplier’s services and the penalty clauses that may be imposed, but in the main due to the level of complexity involved this is impossible without the support of other colleagues who may or may not be available. It will be the working relationships with your suppliers that will carry you through when you need it most.

There is no better time to start working to understand the capability and resilience of your supply chain partners, the future success of your business may depend on it.


About the author – Chris Regan is the Director of Blue Rock Risk Limited a specialist crisis and risk management consultancy. Chris works with both private and public sector clients to help them plan, prepare and respond effectively to a wide range of crisis and risk issues. Chris can be contacted by email at  info@bluerockrisk.com or by telephone 0117 2440154.