Nearly 82% of U.S. companies say they would like to expand into new markets, including 36% that are eyeing expansion opportunities in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) countries, according to a survey released by Vuealta, London.

To understand how businesses were planning to insulate their supply chains from these challenges, Vuealta surveyed UK- and U.S.-based companies to get their views on where they saw the opportunities and risks and what steps they were taking to mitigate negative impact. The survey revealed that almost 90% of businesses have had their supply chains disrupted in some way in the last 5 years.

Despite some high-profile incidents, such as natural disasters, many businesses seem to be unaware of the disruption these external forces might have on their wider operations. Almost half of respondents (46%) believed their leadership team do not appreciate the potential impact that a natural disaster could have on their supply chain, with slightly more (47%) saying similar about leadership’s view of cyberattacks.

When asked how long it would take them to model the impact of a failure in their supply chain, 20% said it would take between a few days and a month, with 4% taking longer than a month and 5% struggling to model it at all.

Over a quarter (29%) cited IT systems, information and visibility as the weakest or most vulnerable points in their supply chain, and almost a fifth (19%) said that it would take at most a day before their customer base was impacted by a supply chain failure, with a further 46% suggesting it would take up to a month.

For those that have fallen victim to a cyberattack in the last 5 years, investing in technology (44%) was the most popular solution to mitigate against future threats, followed by multiple supply options and alternative suppliers (33%) and stress testing and scenario planning (30%). Excess production (25%) and network capacity (26%) were also popular.

Victims of natural disasters were more likely to choose multiple supply options and alternative suppliers (37%) before investing in technology (35%), with a similar number selecting stress testing and scenario planning (30%) and local inventory buffers as an option (29%).

Vuealta commissioned Censuswide, UK, to survey 1,002 business decision makers in the United States and UK, working in companies with over 250 employees and operating a supply chain.