Supply Chains are often times affected by a variety of factors, ranging from global pandemics, to bottlenecks, insufficient infrastructure to international conflicts. There is a number of principles developed by the governmental and intergovernmental organizations to ensure the security of your supply chains.
These principles can broadly be divided into multiple stages. According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Center, these can be listed as follows: Understand the risks, Establish control, Check your arrangements, Continuous improvement. Understanding the risks would include understanding the sensitivity of your contract, the value of the information that your suppliers hold or will obtain access to later on. This will be crucial in case any legal disputes arise later on. Secondly, knowing who your suppliers are and what are their security policies. This will allow you to determine how well is the information provided by you to them will be protected. Your suppliers may also hire subcontractors, in this case you would have to check if the sub-contractors comply with the predetermined security requirements, comprehend the level of access that your suppliers and their subcontractors will have to your information. You should also know what level of control do your suppliers have over the access to your private information, since you may not want them to share it with the outsiders. Make sure that you communicate your security needs clearly to your suppliers so that no misunderstanding can arise.
You may want to group your partners according to the level of risk that they pose to you or your information security. For assessment use such factors as; the impact on your operations, the capacity of likely threats, what is the service that you are acquiring from them, what kind of information do they get their hands on.
Share this information with your suppliers, some commodities require differing approaches to management. For example medical supplies would certainly need to be handled with a different approach than the agricultural products are.
Establishing control; this stage would be absolutely crucial if you want to make sure that you’re in charge of things. To ensure this you would have to identify any suppliers who are constantly failing to meet your security and performance expectations and Identify the most important assets as well as if you’re over-reliant on one of your suppliers – diversification would be your key to staying in Once again, clear communication is important in establishing control as well. Determine and then communicate your minimum security expectations to your suppliers. Don’t ever forget to include the aforementioned security expectations in your contracts and make sure that your suppliers do the same when working the sub-contractors. Ask them to provide you with the proof that they are doing their part. Remember – clear communication is the key.
Checking your arrangements. The main idea here is that you have to be confident in your approach to control over your supply chain. Make sure that each one of your suppliers adheres to the security policies and provides upward reports about their performance.
Add the “right to audit” into all of your contacts and make sure that your suppliers do the same with any of the contracts with the sub-contractors related to your business. (Seek legal advise on this aspect since it is not always possible.).
Establish performance indicators. This will allow your suppliers to keep track of and effectively report to you on their performance. Thus you’ll always know how efficient is your supply chain working which would allow you to improve by working on any of the limitations.
In addition it is important to make sure that you’re protecting from any of the external factors such as – wars, the pandemic or political crisis. To do this you must keep track of the events occurring in the world and create measures in case of any unexpected situations – such as sanctions, currency fluctuations etc. Since these factors are outside of your control the best strategy would be to find effective ways of countering the effects of these occurances. For example finding alternative suppliers or alternative legal ways of working with the existing ones. To navigate the legal aspects of protecting yourself, your company and your and your company’s assets from sanctions please seek the legal advise from Seyhan law firm.
To conclude, all of the mentioned above is very important to make sure that you are protected from any risks involved in the supply chain management and establishment process. To navigate the legal aspects of this question please contact Seyhan Law Firm for legal advise.
Author: Doruk Arslan