Generally, a supply chain security policy is the set of rules and guidelines that are put in place to assist in managing the risk of external factors, among others the suppliers, logistic facilitators, and transportation and vending. The primary purpose of drafting the policy is to ensure a clear guideline that helps identify key risks that might arise concerning the outside factors and therefore mitigate them early. Many factors may rise in the process of drafting the policy, and therefore there is a need to have a clear guideline on how to do it and the relevant personnel in place.
Steps in Building the Policy
In drafting a supply chain security policy, there is a necessity of having a purpose for building that policy. This involves understanding the risk factors and the vulnerabilities available in the organization’s security system. The purpose must be stated and defined with evidence on why it is necessary and addressed to the concerned people. According to Kostadinov (2020), a good supply chain security policy must have a purpose, scope, responsibilities, and each party’s rights and duties. It is important to establish a clear purpose and then develop a scope that highlights the whole process, what it entails, and the parameters. The parameters will help understand the limits or to what extent the policy is applicable. Moreover, the process must also consider the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the daily processes of the supply chain and their limitations. This will ensure that the policy is well articulated in order to avoid ambiguity and misrepresentation. Purpose, scope, and role definitions are the key aspects that will aid in building the policy of any organization that wants to succeed.
People Involved In Developing the Policy
Everyone concerned with an organization has a responsibility, be it an outsider such as the suppliers and vendors or the insiders, including the management and the employees. In the development of a policy, that policy must be able to cut across for it to be effective. Moreover, for the policy to be accepted and adopted, the people concerned need to be involved in its formulation. For instance, the company employees need to be involved in the process for them to identify with it and feel the need to uphold it. Employees are an essential part of the day running of the organization, and it is crucial to involve them in policymaking. Suppliers and vendors, too, need to feel part of the policy as it affects them to a greater extent and, finally, the management. The reason for involving the employees, the suppliers, and the management is to ensure that everyone feels responsible and a shareholder in the process. This will also help eliminate biases and ensure the policy’s success in place.
Factors to Take Into Account, And Things Included In the Policy
Drafting the supply chain security policy will first require the knowledge of both the external and internal factors involved in the organization setup. The internal factors are the employees, the technology in place, and also the management involved. On the other hand, the external factors are influenced by the suppliers, the vendors, and the transporters, among others. In order to draft a policy that is consistent with the nature and the setup of the organization, there is a need to consider all the players. The first step is to understand the infrastructure in places, such as information technology, and its influence on the day-to-day running of the business. The Internet has become a norm in the business world, and therefore the factor of cyber security is very crucial in supply chain security policy development. According to Omitola and Wills (2018), regardless of the nature of the business networking, there is always a risk factor involved. Secondly, the human resource available and concerned with the supply chain is essential in the policy build-up.
Explaining the Rationale
In the supply chain security process, there is a role that is played by everyone involved. All the factors ranging from management to employees and the system in place as well as the outsiders are interlinked. There is a need to understand their relationship and thus craft a policy that cuts across and mitigates the risk factor. Supply chain attacks may happen due to vulnerability in one of the involved key players through the insertion of malware into the system in place, exploitation of system vulnerabilities, or accuracy reduction (Omitola & Wills, 2018). Therefore, it is crucial to determine the role that every party involved is playing so as to put risk-mitigating policies and have everyone understand their role and responsibilities in the same.
Ethical Issues Involved When Dealing With Third-Party Vendors and Suppliers
Conflict of interest is one of the common ethical issues that are prevalent when dealing with vendors and suppliers in policy formulation. Each party will do all it takes to favor its side of the business, and thus there will always be some friction when dealing with suppliers and vendors. In most cases, favoritism is expected, which leads to a significant risk factor in the security of the supply chain. When vendors and suppliers act in a manner that is inconsistent with both parties’ expectations, they are understood to have a conflict of interest. This means they are most likely to overlook supply chain security policies in place to their advantage.
Unethical privacy practices are also prevalent among third-party vendors and suppliers. They might not necessarily uphold top-level privacy practices that pose a security risk in supply chain security policy. Privacy of information is essential, and every organization must know how to handle issues arising from unethical practices of exposing private information, which might lead to security vulnerability. As El‐Khoury and Arikan (2021) state, in a society fully embedded into the Internet and the Internet of things (IoT), there is a good reason to consider ethics and ethical concerns significantly. Thus, there is a need to comprehend how unethical privacy practices and information sharing by third-party vendors and suppliers are happening.
Addressing Ethical Issues Involved When Dealing With Third-Party Vendors and Suppliers
In order to avoid ethical issues in an organization, there is a need to address the issues in a policy-based platform. There is a need to provide a clear policy in writing and ensure that those policies are adhered to and that the parties involved acknowledge them. For instance, the issue of conflict of interest can be best handled by either party being involved in policy formulation and implementation. This will ensure responsibility on both parts and the role each party will play if there is an emergence of the same. There is a need to ensure transparency when dealing with third-party suppliers and vendors is important in addressing ethical issues in organization policies. This helps reduce trust issues among parties and the need to uphold crucial information to favor self. As Kostadinov (2020) has stated, it is crucial to ensure a firm information security policy to avoid unethical privacy practices that may hamper data security. Therefore, this will aid in reducing the chances of third-party vendors and suppliers colluding in business activities.
El‐Khoury, M., & Arikan, C. (2021). From the Internet of things toward the Internet of bodies: Ethical and legal considerations. Strategic Change, 30(3), 307-314.
Kostadinov, D. (2020). Key elements of an information security policy. INFOSEC. Web.
Omitola, T., & Wills, G. (2018). Towards Mapping the Security Challenges of the Internet of Things (IoT) Supply Chain. Procedia Computer Science, 126, 441-450.