The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in close collaboration with its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) Task Force on Nov. 6, 2020, published a report examining critical shortfalls in the resilience of our nation’s supply chains stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, titled “Building a More Resilient ICT Supply Chain: Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” analyzes how companies were affected by balancing efficiency (and a reliance on lean inventory models) and resiliency (or the ability to maintain strong visibility and quickly shift sourcing, production and distribution) in their supply chain operations during the pandemic.
The task force surveyed 50 ICT companies, seeking to measure the impact on supply chain activities with a focus on how the disruption extended across inventory management, supply chain transparency and sourcing concentration. The make-up of the group surveyed included five companies “identified as Broadcasters, 34 as Communications Services Providers (CSP) and 11 as IT Service Providers (ITSP).” The ICT SCRM Task Force identified three major issues made more difficult due to complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic:
In order to improve our nation’s supply chain resilience, the task force made six recommendations:
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the ever-changing business environment of 2020, have highlighted vulnerabilities in the supply chains of many companies. This has made supply chain risk management an increasingly important consideration – especially for those organizations delivering products and/or services to the federal agency customers. Federal contractors would be wise to note the insights from this report and the actionable solutions highlighted to enhance supply chain resiliency.
Additionally, the report may lead to changes in policy and regulation as the federal government considers how best to prepare for events that may challenge mission continuity in the future. These potential changes are important to monitor and prepare for in today’s ever-fluid business environment, which rewards firms that take a proactive approach. As always, Baker Tilly stands ready to help federal contractors address their supply chain risk management needs as they arise.
For more information on this and SCRM, or to learn how Baker Tilly specialists can help – please contact us.
The ICT SCRM Task Force – sponsored by CISA’s National Risk Management Center (NRMC) – is the United States’ preeminent public-private supply chain risk management partnership, entrusted with the critical mission of identifying and developing consensus strategies that enhance ICT supply chain security. More information on the task force is available at:https://www.cisa.gov/ict-scrm-task-force. Note, the ICT SCRM Task Force is a partnership between the IT Sector Coordinating Council (https://www.it-scc.org/), and the Communications Sector Coordinating Council (https://www.comms-scc.org/).