Risk – The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same III – Geopolitical

In our last post, we discussed the top environmental risks facing your Supply Management organization that were chronicled in the World Economic Forum‘s 7th annual Global Risks report. Chronicling dozens 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 the top risks from a geopolitical perspective, which haven’t changed at all in the past year.

03: (Pervasive Entrenched) Corruption

Corruption can take many forms — bid rigging, bribery, collusion, fraud, embezzlement, organized crime, price fixing, and thievery just to name a few. Each of these can be devastating to your supply chain. Bid rigging, collusion, and price fixing can significantly increase your costs. Bribery and thievery can result in a loss of your IP and product plans which could negate years and tens of millions to hundreds of millions of research and development. Embezzlement and fraud could drain your organization of necessary operating capital and organized crime could result in an entire warehouse of inventory disappearing overnight. This is one risk that’s never going away.

02: Terrorism

Terrorism is on the rise, and terrorists are getting their hands on more powerful and destructive weapons by the day. And it’s not just religious extremists that you have to be afraid of. There’s also anti-establishment extremists, new-age radical groups, and anarchists. Each of these groups could decide that your goods or services are against god, pro-establishment, anti-progress, or too orderly and decide that your corporation needs to be taken down here and now. One well planned strike and your factory, or headquarters, is a smouldering crater.

01: Geopolitical Conflict / Fragile States

Civil unrest can often quickly escalate into civil war and civil war can quickly result in cities, counties, and even provinces becoming inaccessible and if the conflict escalates, entire borders will close. Once a border closes, nothing gets in our out. Your factories become cut off from the rest of the world, and all of your inventory, tying up all of your capital, becomes inaccessible for an indeterminate amount of time. And your supply management organization, like the goods in your cut-off factory, is at risk of total destruction.