The Impact of 9/11 on Global Logistics
Q1. Is a security oriented culture applied to the supply chain just good business? Explain!
- Before making assumptions whether security-oriented culture in logistics is just to maintain good business, it is important to understand what security-oriented culture is about. It is the application of procedures, policies and technology to protect assets within the supply chain from eminent threats (Closs et al., 2002). Given the description of security and the culture it implies, its application to supply chain is just good business. It is because security is part of process strategy that involves implementation of effective security measures for the sake of the stakeholders and to protect the value of the company’s brand. For this reason firms appoint security officers within their executive management team to serve as a primary shield against internal and external threats. It is just good business because given the reason that security is being implemented to protect the stakeholders and the firm’s brand value; it only translates to a notion that firms adapt security-oriented culture because it is essential to the continuity of their business with stakeholders in consideration to profitability .
Q2. What are the benefits of viewing security issues beyond the individual firm?
- Being concerned about security on a wider spectrum beyond the firm’s own initiative constitutes significant benefits that go not only to the business, but also to the industry as a whole. Viewing security issues such as terrorism that has a direct implication to the disruption of supply chain process delivers a higher advantage such as a partnership with government organizations. Having a good relationship with organizations like Customs Trade improves and strengthens international supply chain along with constant border security. Cooperative partnerships that address security issues allow carriers, importers, consolidators and manufacturers to have reduced inspection cost and avoid border delays (Zalud, 2010). Firms enlisted in border programs experience less hazard of inspection that in return would allow the firm to deliver their products on or ahead of schedule. In return, the firm would be able maintain its time commitment to the customers, which would ensure continuous business for the firm. Problems such as contraband smuggling, highway robbery and truck jacking are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of bigger problems underneath, which needs to be realized by individual firms. For example, airport bombings would hinder massive economic disruption. Therefore, viewing such issues and making responses is beneficial in terms of avoiding losses, ensuring profitability and developing standards that the industry would be able to adapt.
Q3. Why is RFID technology viewed by many to be an important tool in securing a supply chain?
- RFID technology is an important tool in securing supply chain because they provide instant access to information regarding the supplies and equipment. Using RFID enhances safety and readiness due to the process that involves real-time tracking and tagging of shipment cargo. Through the use of hand held and fixed reader, cargo data can be sent and received by the tags as they pass through field locations and once the data are received they would provide greater visibility of the shipment’s status. The military also uses the same technology because of its reliability and accuracy (Zalud, 2010). RFID replaced barcode applications and rendered significant advantage beyond simple tracking efficiency. Having RFID technology means reducing overhead cost. Before the implementation of RFID, firms are using barcode systems to scan and track shipments. However, the system does not provide sufficient and real-time information about the cargo’s location and status like RFID does. Therefore, companies and couriers need to employ people to do the scanning and tracking procedure. The additional employees add up to the overhead cost, let alone the time consumed in scanning the cargo manually. RFID simplifies the process by just attaching a tag in the cargo. As soon as it passes through the location scanner, the information is then sent to the computer to be submitted to the shipper and consignee. These are the reasons that make RFID as an important tool in supply chain because it provides accurate logistical data that are essential to ensuring that the cargo being shipped ill make it to its destination.
Q4. Which of the 10 security competencies discussed in the Closs, Speier, Whipple and Voss article are likely to be the most challenging to implement? Why?
- Among the ten security competencies discussed in the article, the most challenging implement is number ten, which is Public Interface Management. The other nine competencies are easier to implement because they are limited within the confines of the firm’s organization. Infrastructure, process strategy and management, communication, technology management and process, metrics, relationship and collaboration are key competencies that can be integrated easily within the firm’s supply operation. There are no crucial considerations to national policies involved unlike public interface management that involves establishing relationships and information exchange with the government and the public (Closs et al., 2002). Forging relationships with government agencies creates a negative impression about the firm. An allegation of conspiring with the government surrounds large companies because of having close relationship with the government. In addition, government security responses are geared towards national security concerns and less specific to particular industry or firm. Policies created by the government are generalized in nature and participations in creating standards constitute a need for legislation.
Closs, D., Speier, C., Whipple, J., & Voss, D. M. (2008). A Framework for Protecting your Supply Chain. Logistics Management (2002) Highland Ranch, 47(9).
Zalud, B. (2010). Every Link in the Chain. Security, Troy, 47(5).