One of the CBRA CEN-project reports presents the outcomes of a feasibility study on supply chain operator needs for a possible European standard in supply chain security (SCS). The study was commissioned by the European Committee for Standardization, CEN, and funded by European Commission Directorate-General Energy and Transport, DG TREN. The study was carried out by four researchers at a Lausanne, Switzerland, based research institute, Cross-border Research Association, CBRA.
The study process consisted of the following steps:
• Literature review, where a large number of relevant publications were covered;
• Expert interviews, with 21 experts in supply chain, security and/or standardization;
• In-depth analysis of standards, covering four existing SCS standards and one regulation; and
• Operator survey, where 86 European supply chain operators shared their views on various SCS aspects, including the feasibility of a set of standard ideas, derived from the expert interviews.
SCS is often considered to be a combination of crime prevention, security engineering, risk management, and operations management disciplines, i.e. part of social and engineering sciences. However, this study explores SCS in a broader context, covering some political and emotional factors, hypes and myths, some misconceptions and unrealistic expectations, and the interpretation of different schools of thought concerning priorities and most cost efficient ways to combat crime in supply chains. This study reveals relevant knowns and some unknowns about designing and implementing security in supply chains, including several concerns and complexities related to the development of SCS standards in Europe (and internationally). Aspects of anti-terrorism measures are considered and integrated into this study. Based on the outcome of the expert interviews, the research in particular focused on exploring the impact of crime (and terrorism) on European supply chains, and whether one or more new standards could help to mitigate such risks in a cost efficient manner.
In line with the mandate given, this study makes the following three main recommendations regarding the future of SCS standardization in Europe:
1. Develop a CEN standard for crime incident reporting in Europe. This standard can be exploited to harmonize the interaction between business and relevant authorities throughout Europe, in particular for reporting of crime incidents; and to streamline and speed up the process of collecting and sharing data on crime incidents, for the benefit of both supply chain operators and authorities.
2. Develop a good practice guidebook on SCS, sharing experiences between supply chain operators as to which security measures work (in which contexts), about the costs and benefits, and other relevant parameters, to be exploited in SCS design, implementation, monitoring and training.
3. Carry out a set of detailed cost benefit case studies. These focus on a holistic SCS label, targeted primarily for European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the logistics sector, especially for companies which are not eligible for customs SCS programs (like EU AEO). Based on the outcomes of 20-30 case studies, this additional study suggests the final decision as to whether a SCS label type of standard will or will not work.
Finally, the study presents a holistic SCS framework to be exploited in any future SCS standardization projects. This is concluded with an emerging theory of ”Value Chain Security” (VCS) which takes into consideration several broader and deeper aspects of real crime prevention and security management: the proposed CEN standard for crime incident reporting provides the first tangible building block towards the future VCS management - as part of the continuous fight against the ”dark side of supply chains”.
Publications and presentations:
CEN/TR 16412:2012 - Supply chain security (SCS). Good practice guide for small and medium sized operators. CBRA team played a lead role in production of this Technical report. Available e.g. at: http://shop.bsigroup.com/en/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030258778
FprEN 16352 . 2012. - Logistics. Specifications for reporting crime incidents. CBRA team played a supporting role in production of this Euronorm.
Hintsa, J., 2010. Framework for Development of Supply Chain Security Standards. Journal of Transportation Security, 3(2), pp. 105-125.
Hintsa, J., Ahokas, J., Männistö, T. and Sahlstedt, J., 2010. CEN Supply Chain Security (SCS) Feasibility study. CEN/TC 379 Supply Chain Security, Final report, 15 January 2010. Available at United Nations (UNECE) website: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/events/docs/inlandsecurity_forum11_relatingmaterial_01e.pdf