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To Assess Supply Chain Strategy, Ask Some Basic Questions

With a number of recent economic trends suggesting 2012 will be a significant year for the global market recovery, supply chain managers should take this time to review their continuity strategies.

To that end, it may help to ask yourself a few simple, yet informative questions. Here are some examples, offered by The Atlantic magazine.

- How geographically diverse is your supply base? How politically diverse is it?
- Are you vulnerable to widespread revolution across the region, such as those seen in the Middle East?
- Where do your vendors source their products and materials from, and can they be insured?
- Do you have backup suppliers in the event your primary vendor goes down?

"Without the right continuity plan, a company could face the inability to supply its customers," Linda Conrad, director of strategic business risk at Zurich Global, told The Atlantic. "Other potential consequences could be delayed product launches and perhaps even opening up directors and officers to lawsuits."

Zurich recently published a survey that found roughly 40 percent of supply chain disruptions originated below the immediate first-tier supplier.

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