Executive Action on Supply Chain Resilience Should Use Data to Reduce Risk and Strengthen Economy

By Bob Kolasky, Senior Vice President of Critical Infrastructure

The Biden Administration’s announcement of a White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience is a welcome step in bringing the issue to the fore and bridging security and economic concerns. 

With the establishment of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience, the Biden administration has taken a significant stride toward enhancing the resilience of critical supply chains in the face of global shocks. From the Covid pandemic and conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe to human rights violations in Asia and Africa, as well as vulnerabilities in information and communications technologies, global supply chains have faced unprecedented challenges. The heightened focus on policies to fortify these supply chains is now an imperative, and we commend the administration for embracing this challenge and publicly committing to planning for shocks while investing in resilience.

In tandem with the establishment of a Cabinet-level Council, the federal government has pledged to bolster its cross-governmental supply chain capabilities. This includes the expansion of supply chain data and analytical availability, investment in critical supply chains and the implementation of planning and exercises to assess resilience. Furthermore, there will be fortified supply chain resilience structures within the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation.

Exiger’s Tools Help Build Supply Chain Resilience

Exiger has actively supported the federal government in ongoing supply chain resilience activities, with a particular emphasis on highlighting supply chain risks. From identifying risks associated with foreign ownership and control in critical defense technologies to mapping the availability and integrity of key supply chains and suppliers of critical infrastructure, our tools assist government programs in effectively managing risk. We serve as an engaged partner of the federal government, contributing to improved acquisition and procurement decisions, supply availability monitoring, and the identification of alternative suppliers to facilitate the creation and availability of new incentives.

This work has gained heightened importance given the proliferation of critical functions reliant on materials and technologies not widely available in the United States, such as critical materials and minerals, chemical precursors, semiconductors and associated packaging. Industries such as energy, telecommunications, health and public health, and advanced manufacturing depend on secure and resilient supply chains, ensuring consistent availability of trustworthy supplies. Unfortunately, many of these supply chains currently rely on high-risk sources, introducing uncertainty regarding the availability and affordability of key supplies.

New Action Should Be Built on Commercial Best Practices

In corporate America, supply chain risk management has ascended to a C-suite-level issue, and it is fitting that the administration has elevated it to a Cabinet-level concern as well. Building resilient supply chains is integral to strengthening America’s economic security and industrial base, sending a powerful message to industries that the government is committed to breaking down barriers to enable economic innovation and competition while providing certainty regarding the availability of supplies.

Notably, we applaud the emphasis on leveraging data and advanced analytics. The past several years have witnessed an incredible surge in innovation, and it is heartening to see the administration recognizing this and acknowledging the necessity of incorporating it to monitor supply chain resilience. Effectively integrating commercial analytic solutions into agencies across the federal government should be a priority, with a focus on deploying these tools securely to promote information sharing across government and industry. While the federal government can set the tone for the importance of supply chain resilience, it is crucial that industry makes investments that support economic growth and competition. Enhanced analytic understanding of supply chain risks supports smarter policymaking and investment on the federal side, empowering businesses to construct more resilient supply chains.

We eagerly anticipate continuing to provide these tools to support analytic understanding and being actively engaged in the conversation planned for 2024 on supply chain data and analytics.

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