Learn What You Know
What are the most important risk factors in your extended supply chain -- quality, performance, financial? What data do you have on these issues? What data can you get quickly? Make it a priority to get better information.
Study the Patterns
Do some suppliers seem to pose more problems? Are you looking for patterns over time, rather than just putting out fires? There are patterns of behavior that allow a company to predict which suppliers need to be reviewed. Software is much better at picking up these patterns than
Monitor the Suppliers
Do you have mechanisms in place that allow you to monitor all of your suppliers? Are you testing your suppliers' suppliers? Can you validate the information?
Source: Jim Lawton, D&B Supply Management Solutions