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Industry Updates

The Time to Get Ready is Now

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Is there a silver lining in the coronavirus and its impact on supply chains? John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco Systems and founder of JC2 Ventures, says there is.

“The coronavirus is hitting many businesses hard, but it’s also an opportunity for them to get ready for the next disruption,” Chambers blogged for Fortune. “If they start soon, the next supply chain shock might not wreak as much damage as this one has.”

Chambers identified three areas where proactive organizations should concentrate their attention. The first involves the digitization of the supply chain.

“A 2016 Boston Consulting Group study found that adopting digital supply chain technologies helped companies achieve, on average, 10 percent higher product availability and a 25 percent faster response to market changes compared to companies lagging in digitization,” he wrote.

Second, Chambers urged his business peers to create crisis management teams. At Cisco, he wrote, “Our supply chain risk management team monitored disruptions globally 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If we noticed a situation with the potential to disrupt our supply chain, we found out which sectors of the supply chain might be impacted.”

Lastly, organizations should strive to have as much supply chain visibility as possible. “Better visibility can help risk management teams more effectively anticipate disruptions,” Chambers noted.

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