Polly Mitchell-Guthrie on how supply chains work

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, VP of Industry Outreach at Kinaxis, a Canada-based supply-chain management platform.

What are the biggest supply chain disruptions you're seeing right now?

Major companies that carry big freight aren’t sailing through the Red Sea right now because of Houthi rebel attacks on ships. The Panama Canal is a route also facing issues because of drought. Taking alternative routes, like around the south of Africa, adds time and costs.” 

What happens when a company is confronted with a supply chain disruption?

“Businesses ask themselves what the impact of the disruption will be on customers: How late will this make the order? How much cost will it add? Do I absorb the cost or do I pass it on to customers? You look at those trade-offs and figure out the metrics that matter.”

Why is the movement of goods through supply chains so difficult to track?

“There's no instant system that can give you visibility to every step of the process. That's the challenge. We're dealing with systems that should be tightly interconnected, and they are, in reality, but the ability to get data and information about what's happening is not easy.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Listen to the full conversation here.