December 4, 2018

What’s stopping your compliance and risk team being more effective?

Supply chain compliance and risk issues: do these seem familiar?

Supply chain compliance can be described as an ever-changing landscape. The world’s largest organisations are continuing to grow and push into new markets, while developing countries continue to compete against each other for new business.

At the same time, the 24-hour media cycle means that organisations’ compliance failures and PR disasters have the potential to escalate more rapidly and cause more reputational damage than ever before. Throw new cross-border regulations, such as GDPR, and cyber security vulnerabilities into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for major compliance issues.

With this in mind, it’s not enough to merely look at your compliance and risk strategy in a holistic sense – you need to understand the columns that stand beneath it and identify any internal issues that might be hindering you.

In other words, the support structures that you might not always see at first glance – the day-to-day processes within your team that form the foundations of a successful compliance and risk function. Processes such as the following.

Supply chain compliance and risk: common internal issues

Is your reporting up to scratch?

What happens when you ask your team to produce a report at short notice? Does it cause an unnecessary amount of stress?

If the process of compiling the required data means your team members have to go through other people’s spreadsheets with a fine-tooth comb and access a variety of systems in order to bring the information together, this can result in wasted time and confusion.

Do you have blind spots in your supply chain?

Obviously it’s hard to have absolute confidence that you’re compliant if you have supplier visibility problems. Do you know where potential weak points in your supply chain are, or are there ‘blind spots’ in your data? If there are, you need to find a solution that can give you the visibility you need.

You also need to consider the potential cyber security risks posed by your supply chain. With the majority of senior IT decision makers and security professionals stating that software supply chain attacks pose a significant risk, this is something you simply cannot afford to ignore.

Is your team always treading water?

In an ideal world, your strategy would be defined, your projects mapped out and your team would always know what’s coming up, in both the short and long term. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, so this is rarely the case.

If your team members are always busy trying to meet targets and hit deadlines, are they merely treading water? Yes, we’ve all been there at one point or another. People will always be busy, but there’s a difference between being busy working on planned, strategic projects, and working on a constant ad hoc basis simply to get things done.

In order to define a strategy for the future, you need to have the time do so. You can’t do that if you’re always focused on the here and now.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…give you a headache

As mentioned above, the compliance landscape is ever-changing. Whenever new legislation or regulation is introduced, as it inevitably will be, to address problem areas such as modern slavery, you need to be in a position to respond.

What if your organisation suddenly needs to implement a new workflow or onboard a number of new suppliers in a short amount of time to comply with the new rules? Are you in a position to do this?

Of course, this is only a brief look into some of the issues that could shackle your supply chain compliance and risk strategy. If you take anything away from this, it should be that good processes provide the foundation upon which success is built.

For a more detailed insight into how to build better internal compliance and risk strategies, visit our Resources section here >>>

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