Following legal issues related to supply chain management.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Supply chains as strategic defense tool

Supply Chains as a strategic defense initiative? A recent NY Times article explicitly addressed the importance of supply chains as a strategic defense tool. In it’s article describing a secret request to the U.S. by Israel last year for bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex, the NY Times discussed a new covert U.S. action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons. The covert operation, started in early 2008, includes renewed American efforts to penetrate Iran’s nuclear supply chain abroad. It is aimed at delaying the day that Iran can produce the weapons-grade fuel and designs it needs to produce a workable nuclear weapon.

This small mention of the Iranian nuclear supply chain indicates that global supply chains are a fact of every project (good and bad), and that supply chain disruptions have such dramatic impact on operations that they can serve strategic defense objectives, and serve as a possible alternative to direct military action.

This underscores the importance of considering your overall supply chain, identifying the weak points, and understanding what a disruption would mean to your ability to continue operations. Pre-planning for a supply chain disruption is no longer optional – particularly in the current global economic crisis. Supply agreements should address disruption planning, and procurement/supply chain management teams need to ensure workable contingency plans are ready to go.

-- Greg Chabon


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