Information technology executives will have to manage\n another layer of supply chain complexity if the Bush\n Administration\u2019s product inspection proposals announced\n November 6 are enacted. That includes allowing the federal\n government greater visibility into the practices of American\n manufacturers that farm out factory work to subcontractors\n abroad. The proposals also would be expected to add compliance\n requirements to companies\u2019 product quality standards.\n MORE ON CIO.com\n \n How ConAgra's Pot Pie Recall Bakes In Hard Lessons for Supply Chain Management\n \n Five Best Practices for Product Recalls\n \n Supply Chain Software to Smooth the Recall Road\n \n How to Use Disasters to Fine Tune Your Supply Chain\n \n What You Should Do About Tainted Goods from China and Other Supply Chain Risks\n It all adds up to management of more data, for longer\n periods of time, and the ability to get to that data faster in\n the case of a product recall, says Joe Barkai, a practice\n director at Manufacturing Insights.After a rash of high-profile product recalls of toys,\n toothpaste and other tainted goods imported from China and\n other countries, President George W. Bush today unveiled a plan\n to bolster federal product safety inspections abroad. The plan,\n some of which requires Congressional approval and some which\n the Administration can enact by itself, will impact IT leaders\n who manage or work with global supply chain systems."For many years, we have relied on a strategy based on\n identifying unsafe products at the border. The problem is that\n the growing volume of products coming into our country makes\n this approach increasingly unreliable," Bush said in\n a statement.The new Import Safety Action Plan calls for\n identifying and targeting high-risk points in the global\n supply chain for products made for export to the United\n States; increasing the presence of American product\n inspectors overseas; creating real-time data exchanges among\n exporters and federal agencies about products approved or\n rejected for shipment; and empowering the Food and Drug\n Administration to impose a mandatory recall of products\n deemed dangerous. While consumer safety advocates and some\n in Congress have urged more funding for product inspections,\n Bush did not address funding in his announcement.The changes, if implemented as described, would increase the\n federal government\u2019s involvement in the overseas legs of\n global supply chains which companies now must engineer to get\n goods sourced, assembled and delivered around the globe.The effect would be to force manufacturers to give their\n suppliers more time for production to factor in the need for\n increased testing, said Simon Jacobson, senior research analyst\n at AMR Research in Boston."If the administration succeeds in increasing testing,\n there\u2019s an implication for lead times you need to give\n your suppliers. More testing takes more time," Jacobson said.\n He added that for American manufacturers working with factories\n in China, "companies will say, if you want to be our supplier,\n here\u2019s what to do. CIOs will want to monitor what those\n companies are doing and catch defects before products get\n shipped."Barkai said that Bush's proposal is more about\n after-the-fact enforcement than about preventing product\n defects. "Companies will need more visibility into the internal\n inspection processes of their foreign manufacturers. It might\n mean US companies don\u2019t do business with overseas\n companies that can\u2019t or won\u2019t provide that\n visibility," said Barkai, whose consulting firm, like CIO is\n owned by International Data Group.He added that: "Maybe this will result in companies sourcing\n no longer on lowest cost, but on what those suppliers can provide\n in terms of product testing and reliable data about product\n testing. Lowest cost suppliers may actually cost more, if you\n consider the lifetime cost of your product. Recalls are\n expensive."Michael Goldberg contributed to this report.