Daily Archives: January 2, 2012

Risk 2011: Economic

In our last post, we discussed the top three geopolitical risks facing your Supply Management organization that were chronicled in the World Economic Forum‘s 6th annual Global Risks report. Chronicling thirty seven types of risk divided into five categories, this report did a tremendous job of covering the types of risk that an average Supply Management organization needs to prepare for. Today, SI is going to continue its coverage of the report by discussing what it believes are the top three risks from an economic perspective.

03: Asset Price Collapse

Most of an organization’s capital is tied up in two things – its people and its assets. This includes its buildings, its inventory, and the raw materials that will be used to create future inventory. If all of a sudden the value of each of these assets drops 50% over night, the organization loses 50% of the value of these assets – and will likely sustain additional losses when it has to sell its inventory at a deep discount.

02: Extreme Energy Price Volatility

Today’s organizations are ultimately dependent upon three things – people, raw materials, and the energy required to transform the raw materials into the product the organization will sell. If oil doubles in price, that could make the difference between being able to produce the goods in China and import them into the US for sale at a profit and having to import them into the US for sale at a loss (or risk losing the entire inventory).

01: Fiscal Crisis

The fiscal crisis can lead to many things – currency volatility, a credit crunch, and overall infrastructure fragility. Weakening currencies can cause costs to skyrocket. A credit crunch can severely restrict cash flow and make it almost impossible for an organization to temporarily borrow the cash it needs to secure the inventory required to produce the goods it plans to sell to create revenue and, eventually, generate profit. And infrastructure fragility, which weakens every time there is insufficient cash to invest in necessary maintenance, can result in transportation lanes, power plants, and basic utilities becoming unavailable overnight. The ramifications of a fiscal crisis can reach far and wide.