If a critical supplier experiences a disruption from a natural or man-made disaster, there can be an immediate and devastating effect on a company’s ability to deliver its products. A supplier with a business continuity plan can avoid some disruptions and, recover more quickly from others, and therefore, lessen the economic impact of the disruption.

Lean techniques have been, and continue to be, applied to production lines globally since, at least, the early 1990’s. This application of Lean has been highly successful and has yielded significant results by reducing inventory levels, outsourcing product components to extremely efficient manufacturers and increasing the speed of final product assembly. Lean manufacturing saves money and increases profits.

Today, globally, between 65 and 90 percent of the content of an end product is provided by suppliers. As Lean has percolated down from original equipment manufacturers to their suppliers and from those suppliers to lower tier suppliers, supply chains have become not only lean, but they are longer and more complex.