7 biggest threats to global Supply Chain

Biggest threats to global supply chain across 2016 identified in report by BSI

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has identified the biggest challenges the global supply chain network is likely to face this year in a recent report.

Seven key concerns have been highlighted, which could pose the greatest disruption for companies resulting in financial losses and blights on reputations.

These threats include global health issues like the Zika virus, theft, terrorism and conflicts, and labour disquiet.

Legislative changes across Europe and the US have also placed greater legal responsibilities on companies to ensure their supply chains do not fall foul of labour exploitation laws, as was found in China and Argentina last year.

Global Intelligence Program Manager at BSI, Jim Yarbrough said the challenges outlined in the report, from human rights to natural disasters, are complex but suggested they should not be ignored if companies wish to protect their respectability and standing.

The BSI predicts cargo thefts will continue to increase by an additional $1bn this year with countries such as China, Germany and the US facing the biggest dangers in this area.

It also suggests the tightening of border controls, particularly in areas of conflict, war and terrorism, will inevitably lead to disruption and possibly extended closures of ports.

Allied to this, the slowing economy in China resulted in a number of protests and strikes last year. Irrespective of any improvements in the economy, there may still be a continuing ramifications in relation to labour force disruptions.

The data for the report is based on analysis from the BSI’s Supply Chain Risk Exposure Evaluation Network (SCREEN), which produces ongoing risk factor evaluations across over 200 countries. In turn, this information forms the basis for its Global Supply Chain Intelligence Reports.

Overall, the report highlighted that the 7 key threats to global supply chain are:

1. Global cargo theft, particularly China, Germany, India, Mexico, South Africa, United States

2. Continued tensions in South China Sea

3. Ongoing conflict in Syria, and disruption of migrant crisis on port operations

4. Terrorism

5. Slowdown in Chinese economy and subsequent labour unrest

6. Weather disruptions e.g. La Nina Phenomenon

7. Global health crises e.g. Ebola and Zika

Ben Whitby, mda Client Services and Operations Director, said, “At mda we continually risk plan for ourselves and our clients to ensure minimal impact is seen on many external factors. Of course, some of the macro economic and social threats such as those highlighted in this report can be difficult to influence, so our responsibility is to remain as resilient, agile and prepared as possible.

With over 25 years marketing services experience, we know we’re often needed as part of a multi-million pound campaign or activity that is inextricably linked to other channels such as TV advertising or event sponsorship, so it’s absolutely crucial we deliver success for our clients in co-ordination with their countless other campaign elements.”


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