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Just in Case

Just in Case

In the US, people aren't the only ones staying closer to home since September 11, companies are too. Ford reportedly is re-evaluating, case by case, whether to award contracts to US rather than foreign suppliers in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Other companies are following its lead. Australian business must respond accordingly. Austrade's Bayliss says exporters are under pressure to ensure they are providing an on-the-ground service to US customers, as well as shorter supply chains. Steenstrup says Gartner has dramatically altered its expectations for collaborative commerce as US companies move increasingly to deal only with known and trusted trading partners.

"US companies were going to seek new partners and go forth where no businessman has gone before and use the Internet in a way of intergalactic matchmaking of business opportunities.

"Now it's becoming more of a closed shop," he says.

Management Strategies

Redesign the supply chain to balance efficiency with resilience.

Prepare for higher transportation costs and longer delivery times.

Have a worst-case contingency plan for every country in which you do business.

Focus on fewer but more reliable suppliers. Cultivate deeper collaboration with them.

Make near-real-time visibility into the supply chain your top priority for the next 12 months.

Stop any "intergalactic" supply chain projects. Focus on smaller, tactical projects with high returns on investment.

Increase your adoption of supply chain process improvements and technology.

Source: Gartner

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