Managing Process Safety in Supplier Networks

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In today’s world of specialized manufacturing and just-in-time supplies, a process safety incident at any point along the supply chain can jeopardize production. This means that it’s not enough for companies to have good process safety procedures and practices at their own sites. To prevent production losses effectively, the entire network of sub-suppliers must be equally committed to high standards in process safety procedures and practices.

The automotive sector is a good example of the evolution that has taken place, from the pre-Ford factories, where cars were actually built by the company’s employees starting from steel bars and plates, to today’s plants, where employees assemble large parts produced on demand by external suppliers.

When your assembly line depends on the just-in-time delivery of parts to continue operating, ensuring that your network of suppliers is properly managing process safety is a necessity. This is especially true since the potential damage of an incident can be much more serious for the manufacturer than for the supplier, as it is often disproportionate to the value of the goods being supplied. Manufacturing industries, therefore, have a vested interest in vetting and maintaining the process safety performance of their supply chain.

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