One of the lessons I’ve learned from working with customers is that a lot of companies don’t know where their suppliers are actually located. Often, they’re able to tell you where their suppliers’ headquarters are (in other words, where they’re sending the money)—but when you ask them where the supplier is actually manufacturing their supplies, it’s a completely different story. They just don’t know. And what if the supplier has multiple manufacturing locations? Then they really don’t know.
But this is such a key element of supplier risk management, and therefore of supply chain risk management! How can you make sure everything is going smoothly if you don’t know where most of your suppliers are actually located? Spoiler: You can’t. If you want to improve the reliability of your supply chain, it’s time to take this key step: Find out where all your suppliers’ manufacturing facilities are located, and make sure you’re aware if an event might impact operations in those areas (for example, a natural disaster).