As I sit back and I look over the course of the past nine months and surmise how very different our world is today than it was in early March 2020. There are several reasons for this, of course, you can’t easily look beyond the identifiable COVID-19 pandemic, but what you should also see is how the world changed and was pushed forward with the use of technology. I believe the “it” verbiage in technology and intelligence for the next few years will be supply change risk management (SCRM). My experience over the past few years provided me with a great deal of intelligent technology both from commercial vendors and inside the government that provided “illumination”. We in the Department of Defense (DoD) need to look left of Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to secure our supply chains for our Defense Industrial Base(DIB). In layman’s terms, the whole of government needs to be able to help our supply chains on the front side, instead of when they are poised to be purchased by our adversary or lose a critical element in our supply chain.
This heightened sense of SCRM has produced many emerging capabilities of Supply Chain Risk Tools (SCRT). What will be the most critical is choosing the right SCRTs I believe will become one of the biggest discriminators in the race to secure supply chains globally, with each agency or company being able to infuse commercially available risk management capability infused with artificial intelligence and machine learning to do predictive analysis on supply chains. The SCRT along with information sharing will be the game-changer. We need to focus as a nation on what components create our supply chains and not solely focused on companies specific to get our arms around risk. We need technology to define common risk factors whether it be material, workforce, technology, fraud, ownership, P&L that are core link for many supply chains, and ensure that as a nation we buy down the risk in the US and with strategic allied partners. We need to use these SCRT to provide DoD and other federal partners a real-time look at what the market sees, through open-source and publicly available feeds. We then can ingest that information and cross-map it with intelligence information, to assist with solutions to our key supply chains to shore them up and bring them back to the United States, to ensure that our country has the capability to defend herself against any adversary.
The big question is what are the right risk factors and how do you quantify risk, as risk is not the same for all, and how do you dial-up risk in certain areas and dial it down for others? We need the federal agencies to work together with commercial SCRT to provide the right solution.
A truly brilliant example of this happened in the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic when I was lucky to be able to serve as the lead for acceleration for the FEMA Supply Chain. In late March 2020, we needed solutions to enable datadriven decisions on multiple factors of risk virtually in real time. In my time at DoD,