What is a Resilient Supply Chain? & How to build?

resilience supply chain

“In today’s uncertain and turbulent markets, supply chain vulnerability has become an issue of significance for many companies and researches on the resilient supply chain are yet to be conducted” 

(Christopher & Peck, 2004)

What is a Resilient Supply Chain?

A resilient supply chain can handle unforeseen disruptions with its current capabilities.

To put it another way, it is the ability to react and recover from issues causing no disruption to operations or customer timelines.

Natural disasters, incidents, and deliberate delays are all threats to your supply chain. Their probability and effects heightened by long, global supply chains, ever-shrinking product life-cycles, and competitive and unpredictable markets.

These risks including natural disasters, terrorism, cyber-attacks, the credit crunch, and many more could cause a substantial loss in productivity, revenue, competitive advantage, profitability, etc. if not managed properly, and that is why a resilient supply chain is important.

Read Also: Supply Chain Training: Train and Gain

How to build a resilient supply chain?

Managing risk and increasing supply chain resilience has never been more critical. Businesses need supply chains that can withstand, adjust, and recover from catastrophic disruption, whenever and wherever it occurs in the new global reality. This entails being vigilant about the danger and cultivating a resilient DNA across the board.

Lower risk

Risk-aware and capable of detecting and responding to significant disruptions.


Capable of keeping people and goods healthy and safe.


Visible to customers across all products and channels.


Adaptive and decisive in response to changing supply and demand trends.


Using data science to respond rapidly and confidently to disruption.


Throughout the supply chain network, as cost-effective as possible.

Enhance your supply chain risk management

  • Operational risk

Improved real-time visibility and risk identification and mitigation solutions will help you respond to unexpected supply chain changes.

  • Tactical risk

As part of sales and operations preparation, adapt to changing supply/demand through scenario planning and modeling, as well as risk/opportunity analysis.

  • Strategic risk

Improve versatility and ability by using network modeling and simulation, strategic buffer sizing, and multi-sourcing options to manage uncertainty.

The supply chain resembles a sequence of teetering dominoes. An earthquake, industrial fire, transportation failure, or geopolitical disruption, to name a few possibilities, may topple one domino, causing the others to fall. To put it another way, if one part of the supply chain is at risk, the entire network is at risk. As supply chains become more complicated, the risks of something going wrong and disrupting the whole system are increasing.

Core facilitator for building a resilient supply chain sctrategy

Affected businesses want more resilient supply chains to ensure that they can continue to produce despite any obstacles. People, operation, and technology are the three key enablers of a successful supply chain resilience strategy.


Companies need enough manpower to complete the job, but they often need skilled professionals who can assist their employers in overcoming difficult challenges. Look for experienced engineers, procurement experts, and supply chain administrators to complement current staff and assist the company in navigating a challenging market climate. At the same time, look for industry experts who can help the business stay ahead of the curve. Manufacturing is never going to slow down, so you’ll need the right people to help you keep up.


When employees are motivated by reliable, robust procedures, they produce their best work. Companies must improve their processes to handle product shortages and obsolescence, as well as to increase the elasticity of a supply chain.


Technology can help organizations complete the desired processes more easily and accurately. Real-time analytics and decision support tools, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and electronic data exchange systems, can, for example, help provide baseline data that justify investments in spend, supplier, and commodity assessments.

Three core metrics to evaluate supply chain resilience

Time-to-survive refers to the time it takes your company to restore normal supply chain operations following a disruption. Some factories in China, for example, had a “time-to-survive” of around three weeks. It took around that long to secure the required personal protective equipment (PPE), formulate safety regulations, receive government approval, and reopen the factories.

Time-to-recover the time you take to clear your backlog. Although the Chinese factories were up and running in less than a month, they were only operating at a fraction of their usual capacity because of lost time and a labor shortage. As a result, their backlogs took three to four months to clear.

Time-to-thrive is a review of an organization after its recovery from a crisis. It contrasts the company’s pre-and post-crisis states and asks, “Why are we better now? Because of what we learned and how we adapted in response to the disruption?”


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