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Disruptions are Too Easily Blamed on Outside Forces

The blame game seldom produces winners, but it always brings out losers in abundance. Steve Banker writes a short, observant article for Forbes about why a lot of our supply chain woes can probably be blamed on ourselves.

Holes in Your Story

Banker points to the Swiss Cheese Model for why outside forces are not entirely to blame for disruptions. If you think about the holes in Swiss cheese, they by themselves do not cause any structural damage to the block of cheese. But if you take a knife and cut a line through two or three of the holes, suddenly a large chunk of the block might come apart.

This principle applies to your supply chain as well. The holes in this case are the “causal factors which can contribute to supply chain breakdowns [and] lay dormant for long periods of time.” By themselves, they are not damaging, but throw in an interruption like a carrier being late to provide a key factory component, and it can cause chaos. So next time things go south, ask yourself if there might have been something on your end that you could have done better to mitigate the damage. You can read Banker’s article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2014/06/03/supply-chain-disruptions-are-too-easily-blamed-on-outside-forces/

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