By: Jay Town, VP & General Counsel, and Charlie Gray, Director, Business Development
On February 24, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that calls for an assessment of the resiliency and capacity of key United States supply chains. The order and its accompanying directives speak to the urgency in our country to ensure the supply chains that support some of our most critical industries, especially the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), can withstand future threats and disruptions so that critical care and products are readily available when we need them the most.
A supply chain dependent on a foreign nation or group of nations is vulnerable to severe disruption or outright shutdown in the event of unrest, armed conflicts, trade issues, or instability in relations. However, increased demand abroad can be just as disruptive of a force on supply chains. The current shortage of supermicro chips that are utilized across many U.S. economic sectors is a prime example. There are more illustrations of America’s over-reliance on foreign nations for strategic and critical components as well.
For instance, the DIB is America’s economic sector responsible for the production, manufacturing, and engineering of our nation’s national security. Currently, the DIB relies almost exclusively on foreign nations for rare earth minerals critical to DIB manufacturing. The Department of Defense has deemed 35 rare earth minerals as critical to the DIB, and the United States imports nearly all 35 of those minerals. For context, these rare earth minerals are needed for manufacturing everything from aircraft to drones to nuclear devices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed numerous vulnerabilities in our nation’s supply chains. Particularly, widespread shortages of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and other COVID-related supplies have highlighted the dangers our country faces in times of crises if we must depend on other nations with competing priorities to provide critical products, resources, or raw materials.
Our proprietary ChainShield™ Supply Chain Intelligence and Risk Management tool, developed in partnership with SAP National Security Services (NS2), was designed to provide dynamic, comprehensive awareness and security for our nation’s critical supply chains. One of the core features of ChainShield™ is the ability to enable real-time threat visibility and predictive capabilities across every element of a global supply chain system. Powerful machine learning and AI-driven technology provide clarity of vision to the hypercomplex objective of effective supply chain management—ensuring, you understand from where your raw materials are sourced and what risks, if any, those sources introduce to your supply chain ecosystem and end user. Such an aperture is vital not only to supply chains or economic risk management, but to America’s national security.
Maintaining real-time visibility into your suppliers can be one of the greatest assets in mitigating the risk of future disruption. ChainShield™ uses proprietary software technology to allow for a deeper understanding of the origins of our resources and conditions in those source regions that could impact everything from the resource’s current or future availability, including weather patterns or government instability.
The platform will also lend to a better understanding of the integrity of the resource itself, as well as the supplier of that resource and even the supplier’s ownership. Specifically, ChainShield™ provides insight into what can be a common occurrence of adversarial shell companies owning seemingly innocuous suppliers through intentionally complex chains of ownership used to obfuscate actual ownership and influence.
President Biden’s executive order is seeking to speed up solutions that can help mitigate our domestic risk and prevent debilitating shortages in the future. Using ChainShield™, American companies can protect their supply chains, identify readily available supply lines, and protect themselves from malign nation state activities by employing the most secure overall products, free of compromise, counterfeit, or obsolescence.
ChainShield™ will help every sector of the economy, especially national defense and aerospace, in delivering uncompromised final products to the American warfighter, their customers, and the global marketplace. This incomparable software is expected to commercialize this year. For a complimentary demo, contact Gray Analytics or SAP NS2.