I’ve authored a couple of posts over these past months commenting on the ever increasing presence of counterfeit or bogus parts within all forms of global supply chains.  We’ve all heard about these bogus parts or materials appearing in food-related, pharmaceutical, and even more concerning, defense-related supply chains.  And just in case you really believed that this phenomenon was not widespread, here’s even more evidence.

A recent article in the Houston Chronicle indicates that the acting administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) testified before a U.S. Congressional sub-committee that some of the cost overruns of that space agency stem in-part from counterfeit parts. It seems that NASA has been trying to weed out counterfeit parts for years, but the problem has grown with more foreign firms and counterfeiters manufacturing equipment that ends up in NASA’s supply chain.  One bogus part supposedly contributed to a nine month delay of the recently launched Kepler spacecraft.  “We find out about it while sitting atop a rocket or, worse, find out about it space” stated Christopher Scolese, acting administrator.

That particular quote should have all of us, including NASA, somewhat concerned.  Do you think?

The need for a supply chain security and risk management strategy has never become as important as it is today.  It seems that no industry or agency has been immune from this problem, even those you would think were highly regulated or controlled.

I touch upon these issues and perspectives in my supply chain risk management workshop.  If you want to learn how your organization can get started with a risk management plan, please call or email and we can discuss scheduling of this two-day workshop for your team at your facility. You can email your interest to supplychain info (at) theferrarigroup (dot) com.

Bob Ferrari