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Supply Chain Industry Updates

MIT, Accenture Team to Reduce Uncertainty in Supply Chains

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When the scope and depth of the pandemic’s impact became clear, people quickly started to compare it to another global disruption within memory, the Great Recession of a dozen years ago.

And, just as that disruption was followed by stress tests of financial institutions to ensure they could withstand another blow, there have been calls to subject supply chains to a similar exercise.

MIT and Accenture today announced they are collaborating on a tool that will allow organizations to see how they might hold up in more than 40 separate scenarios. The resilience test will allow a user to map its entire supply chain with a digital twin and run disruption scenarios, including with variations and combinations. They will get a “pass” or “no pass” assessment for each scenario based on the estimated time to survive/time to recover and financial implications, and the maturity of their end-to-end supply chain risk management efforts will be assessed.

“There is a critical need for a global stress test standard to help prevent shortages of vital products and supplies from happening when the next disaster strikes,” David Simchi-Levi, an MIT engineering professor, said in a statement. “The test will allow companies to understand the resiliency of their supply chains, recognize weak links and act quickly to balance the impact of unprecedented events on customers, operations and finances.”

“In the process, we uncovered several weaknesses in the supply chain we wished we had identified more proactively before.”

Global food company Sigma, through its European subsidiary Campofrio, is collaborating with Accenture and MIT. “As a company with a wide international footprint, we need to ensure an uninterrupted supply of products to our customers, no matter what disruptions occur,” said said Fernando Ibarra, Sigma supply chain director in Europe. “Managing the impact of COVID-19 required high effort on our side, and in the process, we uncovered several weaknesses in the supply chain we wished we had identified more proactively before. Working with Accenture and MIT on this groundbreaking project will be key to recognize other potential weaknesses and continue increasing our supply chain resilience.” 

More about the project can be found here.

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