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How CIOs can help reduce supply chain anxieties

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Many see today’s supply chains as the true wonders of modern existence. With the push of a button, the desired object will be delivered to your doorstep. Others believe that modern supply chains are disrupting local economies and destroying the environment.

Highly complex, interdependent and confusing supply chains were, until just a few years ago, largely the domain of mid-level executives, hidden from the newsroom and boardroom.

Pandemics, escalating geopolitical tensions, cyberattacks, and severe weather have made supply chains a ubiquitous issue under the scrutiny of boards and the White House.

Disruptions and irregularities in supply chains leading to escalating shortages, delays, and price increases have become the defining reality of today’s modern business. So is the impact of an ever-expanding knowledge set that sees modern businesses filled with black boxes of specialties that they “know, are important, but don’t really understand.”

The supply chain is used for one of these black boxes. But CEOs and boards are now demanding that the supply chain black box be opened up and fully accounted for. This is no easy task and one that CIOs need to address strategically.

CIOs as champions of transparency and data delivery

Before the pandemic, most people (even businesses) took supply chains for granted. If you need something to manufacture a product or need a part, simply order it and it will be delivered quickly, affordably and with predictable accuracy.

This is no longer the case. The supply chain realities are changing the way organizations operate and how new products and services are designed and delivered.

But the first step to making your supply chain more resilient is transparency. For IT, this means mapping the holistic end-to-end flow of materials, tasks, and costs from product/service design to final customer delivery.

The exercise explores supply chain challenges such as the automotive industry’s over-reliance on some semiconductor factories in Taiwan and the global pharmaceutical sector’s reliance on Chinese supplies for basic life science ingredients. Reveals high-risk areas.

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