The Thomas Blog

Industrial marketing and manufacturing sales tips to help you grow your business.

Three Logistics Lessons Black Friday Can Teach Manufacturers And The Supply Chain

The shopping frenzy known as Black Friday is almost here. While you will probably see lots of stories about long lines and huge crowds tussling over the latest toys and electronics, there is another story taking place behind the scenes – one of careful planning, lots of moving parts, and plenty of risk. It’s a story of logistics.

The fact is that Black Friday is one of the biggest logistical challenges for retailers and their supply chains. Many companies spend all year analyzing data and building inventories to prepare for the holiday rush. And the stakes are incredibly high –  one mishap can throw off a company’s entire supply chain, leading to a major loss in sales for the day and the rest of the year.

While most B2B manufacturers, industrial companies and procurement teams aren’t directly impacted by Black Friday, there are certainly lessons to be learned from the retail world that can help improve efficiency, reduce risks and optimize their supply chains. Here are three of them:

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The BMW Supply Chain Breakdown: What Happened?

It's no secret that having transparency into your supply chain is essential to mitigating risk. In fact, companies are investing in supply chain visibility and collaboration tools at a faster rate than any other supply chain discipline, putting their money where their risk is. 

Clearly, companies are taking transparency seriously in an effort to stay plugged in to their suppliers. However, in order to ensure a strong, steady and productive supply chain, having visibility into your own suppliers isn't enough – you need to have visibility into their suppliers as well. This is especially true in industries that are driven by outsourcing in an effort to lower costs and shift production requirements. 

One major auto company recently learned this fact the hard way, which led to massive production delays, lots of unflattering headlines, and painful financial repercussions along the way. 

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Thomas Publishing CEO Tony Uphoff Talks Supply Chain Risk, Trends And Tools With Procurement Insights

It’s no secret that managing supply chain risk is paramount to procurement and supply chain professionals. In fact, our survey of more than 1,000 buyers and suppliers revealed that 84% of buyers in decision-making roles assess a supplier’s financial stability before contacting potential supplier partners.

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Infographic: The Disconnect Over Financial Risk In The Supply Chain

Mitigating risk is among the most critical priorities for any procurement professional, and one of the ways they do that is by assessing a supplier’s financial and operational stability during the supplier evaluation process.

In fact, THOMASNET.com, in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet, recently conducted a survey of more than 1,000 buyers and suppliers, and we found that 89% of buyers believe that a potential supplier’s financial stability is important when evaluating potential partners.

Clearly, monitoring a supplier’s credit profile is important to buyers. But are suppliers making sure their profiles are in order? Perhaps not, since just 40% of suppliers who took our survey stated that they knew the current status of their own company’s credit profiles.

Check out our infographic to learn more about this disconnect and to see how, if you are a supplier, it may be costing you customers.

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Can A DDoS Attack Impact The Supply Chain?


Last week, an unprecedented cyberattack crippled many popular websites — including Twitter, Netflix, PayPal and Reddit. While the size and breadth of the attack made lots of headlines, the truth is that similar cyberattacks are waged every single day, and they could pose a risk to your business or your supply chain.

While there is no way to completely mitigate the risk of a cyberattack like the one carried out last week, understanding the nature of the attack and taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity, can prove helpful — especially as businesses (and even factories) become increasingly connected to, and reliant on, the web.  

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