Subscribe
PLANT

Have you assessed your metals risk?

A PwC report says shrinking supplies of critical metals and minerals could seriously affect seven key industrial sectors over the next five years.


March 14, 2012
by PwC

A PwC report says shrinking supplies of critical metals and minerals could seriously affect seven key industrial sectors over the next five years. Here are 10 tips to help you determine your risk level.

• Develop a set of leading risk indicators that’s forward-looking and based on continuous monitoring and analysis of critical resources.

• Identify all the different types of risk that could affect your supply chain and product portfolio, including factors such as physical risks (just not there), economic risks (volatile pricing) and geopolitical risks (political barriers).

• Match risks with appropriate remedial measures such as inventory cushions and strategic stock piling, dual sourcing, dialogue with suppliers and R&D on the substitution of resources at risk.

• Put effective systems in place across your supply chain to identify and act on early warning signs or, in the case of a sudden scarcity risk, to supply real-time information and enable fast implementation of preventive measures.

• Consult suppliers and customers to investigate new business models to reduce resource scarcity risks.

• Look for opportunities in your sector to take an integrated, sustainable approach to the supply chain.

• Identify and promote the environmental, economic and social added value of your products and feed this back into product development.

• Have modern process-control systems in place to manage production in ways that reduce or eliminate waste and, in turn, ensure minimal use of scarce resources such as energy, water, metals, minerals and other scarce inputs.

• Evaluate the potential of initiatives such as extending product life, take-back programs, extended product responsibility and closing the loop in your product design to reinforce customer relationships and sustain revenue streams, as well as boosting environmental sustainability.

• Have effective lifecycle assessment and ‘cradle-to-cradle’ strategies to design out or minimize harmful impacts and maximize benefits for any give production process.

This articles appears in the January/February 2012 issue of PLANT.