The former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today emphasized the interlocking role between supply chain security and the health of the nation's economy, saying that "security and profitability are intertwined."
During his keynote address, Tom Ridge, the first DHS secretary and a former governor of Pennsylvania, told attendees at the Material Handling Industry of America's ProMat 2011 in Chicago that "you cannot be secure unless you are prosperous, and you cannot be prosperous unless you are secure."
Ridge, who now runs his own global economic and security consulting firm, added that an organization should view supply chain security as an investment that adds value, and not just as a necessary cost center. He also warned that the supply chain can become a "liability chain," noting that a single incident can, almost overnight, destroy a brand that took years to build.
"You gain brand recognition by inches per year, and you can lose it in feet per second [from a supply chain security breach]," he told attendees.