The recent threat of increases in tariffs are causing disruptions to today's retail supply chains, therefore supply chains are vulnerable to many unexpected disruptions, including terrorism and natural disasters, according to a new report from BRP, Boston.

The study, “Tariffs, Terrorists & Tsunamis: Minimize the Impact of Supply Chain Disruptions with Agile Strategies,” outlines why it is vital that retailers adopt an agile approach to the development and maintenance of their global supply chains. The need to have the right organization and processes in place to continuously review and adjust the flow of goods from supplier to customer is imperative.

"While tariffs are today's area of focus, supply chains can be unexpectedly disrupted by the three T's – tariffs, terrorists and tsunamis," says Ken Morris, principal. "To combat these potential interruptions, smart retailers take an agile approach to the development and maintenance of their global supply chains and ensure they are able to rapidly react and respond."

This report assesses the impact of tariffs and other disruptive forces on retailers' global supply chains, and includes proactive steps retailers can take to build resilience into their global supply chains through the use of best practices in organization, processes and systems.

The steps to taking an agile approach to global supply chains are:

  • Energize the product lifecycle management process.
  • Gain total visibility into global trade management.
  • Focus on how well transportation spend is being optimized.
  • Develop a dynamic process model of the global supply chain.
  • Create a rigorous spend analytics capability.