Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM): 6 important Lessons From The Field

Discover invaluable insights from real-world aviation incidents – from volcanic ash clouds to the Suez Canal blockage – and how supply chain risk management safeguards operations in this dynamic industry.

Waqar Jadoon - CEO Vantage Plus

9/5/20232 min read

Supply Chain Risk Management in the Aviation Industry: Lessons from the Field


The aviation industry, with its intricate web of interconnected processes and global reach, relies heavily on the flawless synchronization of supply chains. Yet, amidst the soaring heights of success, the industry is not immune to turbulence. Supply chain disruptions can send shockwaves that reverberate across the entire aviation ecosystem. Enter supply chain risk management, a critical discipline that safeguards against uncertainties and ensures the smooth flow of operations. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of supply chain risk management in the aviation industry, drawing insights and lessons from real-world scenarios that have unfolded in the field.

Lesson from the Volcanic Ash Cloud: The Power of Collaboration

The volcanic eruption in Iceland in 2010, which spewed ash clouds that disrupted European airspace, stands as a stark reminder of the need for collaboration in supply chain risk management. Airlines, regulators, and industry players came together to assess the situation, share information, and make informed decisions. This incident showcased the importance of transparent communication and cooperation among stakeholders to mitigate risks and ensure passenger safety.

The Suez Canal Blockage: Diversifying Routes and Suppliers

The recent blockage of the Suez Canal by a stranded container ship highlighted the vulnerability of global supply chains. The aviation industry, heavily reliant on timely parts and components, felt the impact. The lesson learned here is the importance of diversification – both in terms of transportation routes and suppliers. Having multiple options ensures that disruptions in one area don't bring the entire supply chain to a standstill.

Lessons from Cybersecurity Threats: Securing the Digital Pathways

In today's digitized world, cybersecurity threats pose a significant risk to supply chains. The aviation industry, with its intricate network of digital systems, is a prime target. Lessons from cyberattacks on airlines and aviation companies underscore the criticality of investing in robust cybersecurity measures. Protecting digital pathways and data is as vital as safeguarding physical supply chains.

Weather-Related Disruptions: Building Resilience

The unpredictability of weather events is a constant challenge in aviation supply chain risk management. From hurricanes to snowstorms, natural phenomena can wreak havoc on flight schedules and operations. The lesson here is to build resilience by having contingency plans in place. This could involve stockpiling critical parts, establishing alternative routes, and adopting flexible scheduling approaches.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Agility and Adaptation

The global pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of supply chains across industries, including aviation. Airlines faced unprecedented challenges, from plummeting demand to travel restrictions. The lesson from this crisis is the importance of agility and adaptation. Aviation supply chains must be flexible enough to pivot in response to unexpected disruptions, whether it's sourcing essential supplies or adjusting flight schedules.

Lesson from the Boeing 737 Max Grounding: Supplier Relationships and Transparency

The grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft due to safety concerns shed light on the critical role of supplier relationships and transparency in supply chain risk management. Clear communication, thorough quality control, and vigilant oversight of suppliers' processes are essential to prevent risks from cascading down the supply chain.


Supply chain risk management in the aviation industry is a complex art that draws wisdom from real-world experiences. Lessons from volcanic eruptions, canal blockages, cyber threats, weather events, pandemics, and industry-specific incidents underscore the importance of collaboration, diversification, cybersecurity, resilience, agility, and transparent supplier relationships. As the aviation industry continues to evolve, these lessons from the field serve as beacons, guiding supply chain professionals in their relentless pursuit of seamless operations and unrivaled resilience against uncertainties.