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SCRS 2023: Prepare for the Next Big Crisis: How Can Supply Chains Manage Impacts from Global Events

SCRS Conference Day 1 Session #4

Rebounding Stronger in Recovery: Resilient and & Sustainable Supply Chain of the Future 

Moderated by: Ms. Janet Wong

Panelists: Dr. Christian Fjader, Mr. Jason Le Busque, Mr. Fred Kong & Mr. Iftikhar Baig

In today’s unpredictable world, businesses face a constant need to adapt and withstand various challenges that may come their way. From natural disasters to unexpected global crises, these events have the potential to disrupt supply chains and put the continuity of operations at risk. However, by implementing proactive planning and preparation, supply chain managers can significantly reduce the impact of such disruptions and ensure a smoother recovery process. From the SCRS Conference, we will explore the importance of being prepared for the next major crisis and discuss strategies shared by industry experts in a recent panel discussion. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can safeguard your business and position it for success even in the face of uncertainty.

Adapt & Prepare for Future Crises   

The recent events that have occurred worldwide have revealed significant lessons. Jason stressed the importance of implementing regulations in our business strategies and giving priority to regular employee training. He stated, “instead of fixating on one event, we concentrate on various scenarios.” This ensures that we are equipped to adapt and respond effectively to unexpected challenges. 

Transportation costs have been on a significant rise, increasing by over 2.4 times in recent years. In some cases, the costs for using special lanes have even surged up to 10 times the regular rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this situation, leading to a continuous surge in prices. In light of these challenges, Fred said that business owners must continue actively exploring various options to secure reliable suppliers that can support the global supply chain. Additionally, consider investing in supply chain technology to enhance sustainability efforts and better meet customer requests.

Most professionals are familiar with their supply chain on normal occasions, but how well do they know it during times of change or significant events? Then It is crucial to be adequately prepared and brave enough to embrace different scenarios in order to stress-test the supply chain. By subjecting it to surprising shocks, business owners can identify potential vulnerabilities and areas for improvement. This proactive approach will ultimately help us strengthen our supply chain and ensure its resilience in the face of uncertainties.

“The multi-source model has always been present, but its importance has often been overlooked”, said Iftikhar. Recognizing this crucial factor can significantly impact businesses. Technology has the potential to revolutionize the process model, enhancing the supplier base and equipping to navigate future crises. In this digital era, the role of the risk assessment becomes increasingly significant in driving supply chain digitization.

Strategic Measures to Embrace Future Challenges & Thrive

Planning is a crucial aspect of any organization’s success, and leveraging predictive planning can greatly enhance the effectiveness of this process. For Christian, geoeconomic competition has become a driving force for governments and international organizations to prioritize gaining more control over critical supply chains for essential goods and services. This competition is expected to lead to a splintering effect, where countries will increasingly diversify their supply chains. The traditional concept of Just-in-Time (JIT) supply chains will likely transform into Just-in-Case (JIC) approaches, as the risks associated with relying on short inventories are becoming increasingly evident. While maintaining short inventories is cost-intensive, the potential impacts of shocks on supply chains can be equally expensive and disruptive.

Harnessing Predictive Modeling & Scenario Planning to Safeguard Against Uncertainty

Fred highlighted the importance of utilizing AI and tracking technology to effectively track cargo from start to finish, ensuring accurate Arrival Time at Airport (ATA) and Actual Time of Departure (ATD). By implementing such technologies, the risk associated with cargo transportation can be significantly reduced, while also improving response time in case of any unforeseen challenges. Additionally, Fred emphasized the need to invest in global partners who can provide the necessary support to facilitate seamless cargo tracking and transportation on a global scale.

Increasing visibility and transparency in the supply chain is crucial, according to Christian. He believes that being able to detect and respond to events is essential. He also emphasizes the significance of utilizing AI and big data in this process. Christian explains that data alone is meaningless unless it is transformed into actionable information that helps us identify vulnerabilities, understand changes, and gauge their potential impact. He stresses the importance of sense-making and suggests engaging in scenario planning to anticipate possible outcomes. Christian advocates for a proactive approach, preparing for changes and intervening early to prevent potential troubles. Additionally, he recommends conducting stress-testing, as governmental directives are increasingly pressuring entities and operators to do so.

For Iftikhar, making predictions is an essential aspect of planning, and it can only be achieved through the use and analysis of data. By keeping and utilizing data effectively, organizations can gain valuable insights that enable them to make accurate predictions about future trends and outcomes. Furthermore, data sharing plays a crucial role in this process as it allows different departments and teams to collaborate, exchange information, and contribute to a collective pool of knowledge. This continuous sharing of data not only enhances the accuracy of predictions but also facilitates continuous improvement in planning strategies and decision-making processes. 

Jason suggested as well the implementation of digital twinning in wealth facilities as a means to harness predictive modeling and scenario planning, thereby safeguarding against uncertainty. By integrating predictive modeling techniques, wealth facilities can anticipate potential risks and disruptions, enabling proactive measures to be taken. 

Collaborative Strategies for Building Trust & Efficiency

Networking is also a crucial aspect of two-way communication and the exchange of opinions between stakeholders in any industry as per Iftikhar. He emphasized the importance of  feedback from both customers and suppliers, utilizing a robust feedback system to continuously improve operations. This commitment to networking extends beyond just suppliers and customers; business leaders must aim to connect with individuals who have a wider global network, fostering stronger connections within the industry. Through networking, it can strengthen its relationships with various stakeholders, enabling the development of joint contingency plans and ultimately enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the logistics process. 

TAPA APAC recognizes the significance of effective networking and has implemented strategies to facilitate joint risk assessment. By creating two loops, one for customers and one for suppliers, TAPA APAC ensures seamless connectivity between all parties involved in the logistics process. 

The Power of Collaboration, Data & Digitalization

Understanding needs and expectations, sharing data, and developing joint contingency plans are vital aspects of effective collaboration as per Iftikhar. By connecting with government, industry bodies, and associations, you can gain access to readily available information on other markets. This tri-connection between clients, suppliers, and government/industry bodies/associations fosters a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics and facilitates better decision-making. It enables you to adapt to changing circumstances, anticipate challenges, and seize opportunities for growth. In today’s digital age, digitalization plays a key role in capturing data and adding more information to it, making it one of the most important needs of businesses at the moment.

Moreover, Christian emphasized in knowing how to manage the increasing digitalization in a complex global network, there are several options to consider. One approach is to implement robust cybersecurity measures to mitigate the risks associated with digital connectivity. This can include regularly updating software, establishing strong authentication protocols, and conducting regular security audits. Additionally, investing in advanced data analytics tools can enhance the network’s efficiency and enable better decision-making. However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks that come with these benefits. Vigilance and continuous monitoring are vital to identify and address any vulnerabilities or threats that may arise.

For companies seeking to enhance their supply chain resilience, TAPA APAC, a renowned organization in networking and stakeholders engagement, offers effective solutions and expertise for those businesses involved in the supply chain industry. To learn more about TAPA Standards, please visit TAPA APAC website at www.tapa-apac.org or email to info@tapa-apac.org


About the Moderator


Ms. Janet Wong                                                                                      Regional Fusion Centre Manager, Project Argus Pte Ltd

Ms. Janet Wong is a highly accomplished professional in Key Account Management, renowned for her attention to detail, data analysis proficiency, risk assessment expertise, and strong leadership abilities. Her data analysis skills enable informed decision-making and fuel business growth. She utilizes data-driven insights to develop effective strategies and optimize operational processes.


About the Panelists

Mr. Iftikhar Baig                                                                                  Consultant, EDLAB

With over 25 years of experience in management system design, development, and auditing experience in global business operations, ​Mr. Iftikhar Baig is a qualified and certified Quality, Environment, Health & Safety, Social Accountability, Asset Management, Energy Management, Business Continuity, Risk Management, and Supply Chain Security lead auditor with over twenty-five years in the field management system consultancy and auditing.​ As a Senior Manager in Certification and Technical Head of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Compliance Services Pty Limited – Australia. Mr. Iftikhar Baig specializes in business management system integration and management system development for accredited certification bodies.


Mr. Jason Le Busque                                                                                    Global Head of Security, Toll Holdings Pty Ltd

Mr. Jason Le Busque possesses a multi-tiered skillset across investigations, training, risk management, crisis management and business continuity, security system implementation, security standard training and program development. Jason has also achieved a qualification as a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional and a Certified Auditor and Trainer in Global Security Standards of TAPA.


Dr. Christian Fjader                                                                                    Managing Director, Geostrategic Intelligence Group (Geostrat) Ltd

Dr. Christian Fjader has extensive corporate experience in security, risk, and resilience leadership in regional and global leadership roles. Christian has frequently presented in international high-level meetings and conferences, e.g., at the European Union, NATO, and the OECD High-Level Risk Forum (HLRF). Christian has published scholarly articles in resilience, international security, geoeconomics, and strategic risk.


Mr. Fred Kong                                                                                                  Global Supply Chain Security, APJC Leads Dell Technologies

Mr. Fred Kong has been working in the security industry in different companies since the year    of 2003. Fred currently works as APJC Leads, being responsible for Dell Supply Chain Security in Asia Pacific, Japan & Greater China. Prior to that, he was in charge of security operations in the west region and taking care of Dell supply Chain in China nationwide.


Watch other SCRS Conference 2023 Keynotes and panel discussions here: Session Replays


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