As supply chains increasingly integrate suppliers, it’s time to extend business continuity in the same way. In simple situations involving individual consumers and providers, this is already happening. Customers who buy new cars today often rely on the dealer to also provide their “car continuity” because the systems in the car require specialist equipment for maintenance. Intelligence embedded in systems is also driving the move towards “Collaborative Asset Lifecycle Management” (CALM) for enterprises and their suppliers. There’s often a difference in attitude however between individuals and enterprises.
Consumers may passively accept that they need to go back to company that sold them the car, in order to ensure that it will keep on working. Business logic is different: enterprises can see the value in actively seeking out a supplier partner that can enhance the business continuity of the enterprise at a cost that compares favourably to doing the same thing in-house. CALM is the model that encourages suppliers and customers to exchange information and integrate applications so that different phases of the lifecycle of a capital asset can be optimized. This covers initial supply, commissioning, operation, maintenance and final decommissioning.
CALM also promotes business continuity in that it tends towards asset management that is proactive. All the component technologies exist today for supplier and customer collaboration to give real time results and improvements. Devices can be monitored remotely via standard networking protocols. If they move around, they can be tracked using GPS and RFID. Reading and interpreting the information gleaned in these ways allows for automated supply and delivery of consumables and spare parts, as well as the notification of technicians for the resolution of problems.