How to counter threats to your supply chain now and in the future.

Benjamin Franklin declared that if you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail, and that still applies centuries later to companies like yours that use supply chains.

Speaking of Ben and his wisdom, he was also famous for writing up a “to-do” list every day and using checklists in general. Checklists today are invaluable even for professionals like seasoned fighter pilots and highly experienced surgeons. It helps ensure that you don’t miss a thing.

Here, then, is a brief checklist for companies that seek to mitigate risks today and future-proof their supply chains going forward.

Conduct a full compliance analysis

Of your product’s mandatory certifications, approvals, permits and licenses.

Establish backup suppliers

For manufacturing, logistics and raw materials. Assume there will be a sudden need for this one day.

Find alternative manufacturing options

In other countries in case of political disruptions or natural disasters. Always good for your peace of mind to have some dependable alternatives in the bullpen.

Secure insurance

On your shipments and trade-protection insurance on your orders. Both are necessary.

Form risk-sharing agreements

With your vendors so the burden doesn’t fall on just one party. You definitely have mutual interests so it makes good business to work together in that spirit.

Create liability agreements

With your vendors to resolve issues around damaged goods or products that don’t meet your specs.

Encourage your vendors

To ask for picture approvals of products before shipping. It’s yet another way of ensuring quality.

Create then implement

A comprehensive series of quality-control measures for your product. Putting quality first invariably pays off in the long run.

Vet all your vendors

To ensure they fully comply with recognized, international ethical standards. This especially includes any child-labor or worker-rights abuse. Any vendor that is problematic in one area is likely suspect in other areas as well. Doing the right thing never goes out of style.

Also vet logistics partners

To make certain they comply with local and international clearance laws.

Check to see if your vendor

Is using the wrong HTS code or committing other illegal acts like transshipments to save on taxes.

Pay all applicable duties and taxes

In a timely manner. Failure can result in fines and delays, which hurt your bottom line unnecessarily.

Require all your vendors

To sign NDAs and any intellectual-property protection agreements that may be involved. You want to rest easy knowing that your company’s ideas, methods, etc. are not up for grabs.

Verify the caliber of your vendors

Through third-party references, reviews and business-rating/compliance platforms.

Make sure you have a proper communication channel

With each vendor. A huge percentage of problems can be traced back to poor communication.

Have a backup contact person

For each of your vendors in case the primary contact person becomes unavailable for whatever reason.

Assess the financial health

Of your vendors and determine how great their risk might be of closing down.

Make certain your have

Proper payment terms in place.

Prepare transition plans

For switching vendors and even countries as needed should unexpected events take place. Try to anticipate different scenarios of what could happen.

Determine how great of threat

To your supply chain is posed by the geopolitics of the region. Prolonged disruption could be devastating.

Rate the risk assessment

For each vendor.

Evaluate the effectiveness

Of your cyber-security measures. This is a fast-changing environment in which yesterday’s prevention tools may not work today.

Contact a company like Glovendor

To guide you through every item on this checklist. They offer their exclusive supply-chain G360 Audit™ program free of charge. It’s yours for the asking so why not ask?