The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) recently announced what is being termed as the EPIC Global Supply Chain Readiness Index.

CSCMP has partnered with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s, Global Supply Chain Institute (GSCI) and IHS Markit in producing this tool that was designed to improve market intelligence, decision-making and risk mitigation efforts for supply chain professionals.  Global Manufacturing

The Index was explained in an online webinar held late last week, hosted by Rick Blasgen, CSCMP President and a group of panelists involved in the creation of this tool.  The idea for the Index emanated from staffers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s, Global Supply Chain Institute (GSCI) in 2011-2012 because of a need for a more rigorous risk assessment tool available for businesses and the broader supply chain management community.

This tool was reportedly designed to provide foundational and contemporary input to supply chain leaders to drive more informed decisions about how to best source and operate across global regions.

The Index is comprised of four major sectors: Economy (E), Politics (P), Infrastructure (I), Competency (C),with each defining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for different defined regions of the world. The framework is designed to measure and assess levels of maturity held by a region with respect to that region’s ability to support a certain level of supply chain activity. The 2020 report consists of upwards of 100 pages, the bulk of which is made up of the assessment of ten grouped global regions.

The EPIC Index employs a termed data-driven approach that combines quantitative analysis from the University of Tennessee with IHS Markit’s on-the-ground qualitative insights from more than 55 countries around the globe, representing 95 percent of global GDP and 84 percent of world population.  Each of the four sectors has specific identified criteria upon which an individual and overall score is provided.

The panelists explained that by broadening the various components of risks, this Index provides a more meaningful tool to combat sourcing decisions that are either too weighted toward lowest cost, or made outside the realm, participation or collaboration of supply chain management.

The panelists described that a broader framework of risk has been a concern among the supply chain management community for some time, and now, with industry supply chains challenged with the previous increased tensions in geo-political trade, now compounded by wide-scope disruptions being brought upon by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, there is a need for a broader framework.


What the Announcement Implies

From our Supply Chain Matters lens, this announcement implies a broader risk assessment tool available, in addition to various tools being offered by specialized supply chain management risk assessment technology providers, procurement sourcing technology and consulting services providers as well as other professional organizations.

The EPIC framework appears to be broader and more comprehensive  in terms of risk areas, but the data being populated is noted to be on an annualized basis. With events moving as fast as they are, we question aloud as whether such an Index needs to have a more dynamic refresh of data, perhaps on a quarterly basis. That stated, having access to an assessment framework that is broader based is more important.

Active CSCMP members appear to have the ability to download the report from the organization’s web site.


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