The best way to mitigate risk is to prepare for all uncertainties, says Gladyne Wiley Lynch, supplier performance specialist for Ford Motor Company. “With so much economic change in the industry, especially under the Trump administration, you need to have plans in place for uncertainty.”
During an exclusive on-camera interview at the annual AIAG Supply Chain Summit held June 20, 2017, in Livonia, Michigan, Lynch shared a brief example from her presentation at the summit. “We’re hearing that there is a lot of political risk in terms of policy,” Lynch says. “There is so much uncertainty of how the sourcing impacts are going to affect our suppliers.”
That is just one current example of why it is important to plan for a variety of outcomes.
“The industry should focus on Tier-1s and their relationships with Tier-2s,” Lynch says, “especially when it comes to uncertainty in the marketplace. Tier-2s are responsible for nearly 51 percent of disruptions. We’re asking suppliers to be more aware of what’s going on at the Tier-2s, gather that information on where they are located and ultimately who their Tier-3s and Tier-4s are. The more transparency you have, the more you can predict, manage, and mitigate risk.”
“I am constantly coaching and developing people to be more aware of the situation,” she says. “They need to understand what all those risks are, whether they are known or unknown.”