Ridge stresses supply chain preparedness in ProMat Keynote

Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security, welcomed attendees to ProMat 2011 with his keynote speech

By ·

“If you are successful, America will be successful,” and with those words Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security, welcomed attendees to ProMat 2011 and to his keynote speech, titled “Fortune Favors the Brave: The Net Gain of Supply Chain Security in a Risk-Based World.”

Ridge confessed he is no supply chain expert, but he suggested similarities between domestic security imperatives and those of modern business.

“You deal, as I did as secretary, with the forces of globalization: communication, transportation, finance, you name it,” said Ridge. “I can make a straight-faced suggestion that the complexities in your world are just as big as mine were, between natural disasters, geopolitical conditions and vendor issues. We bring the same process to identifying these risks and managing them before they manage us.”

Investments in disaster preparedness, operational redundancies and risk mitigation in general, said Ridge, are not merely insurance policies that one hopes never to cash in.

“Risk management is not only about asset preservation, it’s about value creation,” he said. “Security is not just an expense. There is a return on that investment.”

The balance between security and efficiency can be a difficult one in the business world, said Ridge, but the potential impact of security on profitability and reputation cannot be underemphasized.

“Reputation is built in inches per year, but is lost at feet per second,” said Ridge, who encouraged the audience to have frank discussions about threats to their businesses, with risks stated in terms of consequences rather than events.

“In the airline industry, for instance, were they thinking about a volcano, or ‘what happens if for some reason we can’t fly?’” Ridge asked. “I hope you’re willing to take the lead and have that discussion. You simply can’t leave things to chance.”


About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
B2B Sellers Prefer a Unified Approach for Ecommerce
A new study from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by NetSuite, found that many midmarket, B2B sellers say their ecommerce solutions have contributed to their growth in sales, new customer acquisitions and improved customer relationships.
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
A growing number of low-cost lift trucks offer new avenues for pairing equipment and applications, but less cautious buyers might find that small up-front costs come at a steep price. Selecting the proper lift truck, lift truck tips 2016, Choosing the right Lift Truck
Megatrends in ocean freight
Ocean Cargo Roundtable: What’s in store for 2017?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...

Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....
Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...