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ANALYSIS

25

The supply chain

conundrum As the horsemeat scandal rumbles on, companies would be wise to carefully consider their relationships with suppliers

WORDS: ADAM PESCOD

I

t is unlikely that the issue of supply-chain management has ever enjoyed as much exposure as it has over the last six months. Obviously, using the word ‘enjoyed’ may be a bit wide of the mark when taking account of the events that have led to such coverage. The ongoing horsemeat scandal has threatened the reputation of some established and respected multinationals, and equally the future of smaller firms upon whom some of the big boys have looked to lay the blame. Nevertheless, this has by no means exempted the likes of Tesco and Asda from responsibility, and one could

argue that the whole sorry saga has been a welcome wake-up call for British businesses, both large and small. At the core of the horsemeat scandal is a catastrophic lapse in supply chain communication. This has engendered an atmosphere of mistrust among consumers towards the supermarkets and wholesalers that sit at the (public-facing) end of the supply chain. While it has highlighted that an effective system of supply-chain management must ultimately stem from the top, there are obviously lessons that can be taken away from the scandal for many of the UK’s start-ups,

May 2013 www.elitebusinessmagazine.co.uk

(L)Analyisis friendship chains.indd 1

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