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By Jacqueline Emigh  |  Posted 2005-09-23 Print this article Print

Daniel Collins, a government solutions executive at IBM, detailed some of the complexities associated with creating workable solutions. "What do the London subway bombing and Hurricane Katrina tell us about future security requirements?" he asked. Although "a natural disaster is not the same thing" as a manmade disaster, natural disasters "give us some opportunities to observe mechanisms [present in manmade disasters]," Collins said in a presentation.
The mechanics of supply chain security combine physical security and logical (or computer) security elements with a process orientation, for making decisions about what actions to take, according to the IBM executive.
In its research labs, he said, IBM is exploring new technologies in areas such as risk management and decision support to assist customers in preparing for and coping with disasters. Although its important to practice the use of technology in non-disaster settings, "practice" implementations may turn out differently than actual deployments "out in the wild." Supply chain security technology also faces challenges in the areas of cost concerns, resistance to change and lack of awareness—particularly in some countries outside the United States—that it can do more than just "stop pilferage and theft," according to Collins. The National Cargo Security Council helps supply chain security pros explore new technologies for fighting terrorism and theft. Click here to read more. But, he said, all companies need to step up to the responsibility of supply chain security, whether theyre involved at the front or back end of the supply chain. Some technologies and other initiatives discussed at the conference tried to answer complexity by meeting the increasing convergence between public safety and supply chain concerns. For example, Homeland Integrated Security Systems demod Cyber Tracker, a portable detection device designed for real-time tracking of people as well as vehicles and other movable objects. In other show news, Hewlett-Packard Co. and BearingPoint showcased their mutually developed Maritime Port Integrated Management and Security Solution. L-3 Communications Security & Detection Systems announced the delivery of cargo X-ray screening systems to customs agencies in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Ironically, the ongoing threat of disaster these days came to life dramatically near the end of the Maritime Security Conference on Wednesday. Vividly cognizant of the devastation wrought by Katrina earlier this month, exhibitors from Texas and surrounding areas rushed to the airport to go back home and secure their personal belongings before Rita could get there first. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news and analysis of enterprise supply chains.


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