Supply chains provide an efficient method for helping many different companies to run as smoothly as possible. With being unable to control every element of the supply chain within your business, this does bring an element of risk into the process.

Even the sections which are under your control are also open to risk, and this can have a minor or major impact upon the company, depending on its line of business and size. Some risks will be easily reduced or eliminated, while for small businesses they can have a much more devastating effect.

Supply and Demand

Unpredictable customer and end customer demands can cause a problem for supply chains. An on-demand economy in which everyone expects services and products as soon as possible is adding pressure to many supply chains. Companies with the fastest supply chains therefore do better. Tracking order trends and predicting the busiest periods should help reduce the strain during periods of heavy demand.

Supply risks are an external risk which affects any segment of the supply process, such as acquiring parts or materials required for creating your business’ product. Always use reliable sources for getting hold of these and trustworthy transport or couriers where necessary. The final supply of product or service to customers must also be delivered by reliable teams such as Howard Tenens.


Other external risks which your company can have no control over are environmental ones. Whether social, political or related to climate and weather, usually these risks will be applied to many other businesses using similar supply chains as well. Adaptations can be made for certain governmental and political risks which are usually known about in advance.

Many natural disasters cannot be predicted or arrive with too little warning to make amendments. The Icelandic volcano eruption from a few years ago along with Thailand and other national floods all impacted upon many supply chains by delaying deliveries and other aspects. Political disruption such as the fighting in Ukraine also affected many business supply chains. Devising a back-up plan in case of such disasters should help alleviate the problem if one occurs.


Internal supply chain risks can crop up as well, with changes in your company creating business risks to the process. Loss of personnel, whether planned or unplanned with employees being let go or leaving of their own accord, will affect certain elements. The supply chain should be adapted when known changes are made, with replacements adequately trained in the role.

Management switches, reporting structures and adaptations to other business processes will all affect the overall supply chain. When making such changes to the business the overall supply chain and effect upon it must be considered to avoid any unpredictable risks arising.