The truly amazing revelation that came out of the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh three weeks ago is the number of clothing manufacturers that didn’t know their clothing was being made at that sub-contractor’s facility. The supply chain is a tricky business. OEMs contract to a supplier to get specific parts, but if that contractor maxes out capacity, often they’ll sub-contract to another company lower down on the tier without telling the OEM that their parts are being made elsewhere.
With all the attention being paid to supplier health over the past year, particularly by the automotive OEMs, the new emphasis is on knowing not only how your supplier is fairing but who your suppliers really are. Do you have supplier visibility? Or does it take a disaster – man-made or natural – to show you where you’re vulnerable?...