Tag Archives: Risk Management

News You Can Use: 10/19/2016


  • 6 Ways to Convince Your Boss That Traveling is Important

    The potential ROI gained from the trip is greater than the trip’s cost:
    For anyone who wants his or her boss to approve a business trip, it’s a good idea to map out the specific costs in advance, then estimate the potential ROI that could be garnered if you attended the event.

    Ensuring you keep all your business expenses related to the trip low — though many trips are tax deductible — will help create an optimistic view of the revenue potential and what positive gains could occur that could become the leverage for future business trips.


  • Rock ’em Sock ’em Telecom Services

    In telecommunications, acquisitions have strong influences on pricing structures, service offerings, and overall capabilities. The competition for these services continues to boom with more localized suppliers playing against the big wigs. Going for the “popular” name does not always result in the best fit for your company. When choosing a provider whether through a formal sourcing engagement or going to the market direct, you need an unbiased opinion and should focus on the facts versus fiction.


  • How To Manage Your Anxiety During Tough Times At Work

    When paranoid thinking creeps into your work life, you tend to look for evidence to prove your thinking right. It’s a cognitive function called“confirmation bias.” When you have a belief, for example, that someone is trying to keep you from getting promoted, you look for evidence that confirms that belief. In this case, you believe your colleague is blocking your promotion. When he doesn’t respond to your email, you see that as evidence of your belief.

    Instead of jumping to this conclusion, ask yourself, “What if the opposite were true?” What if he wasn’t blocking your promotion? What other reasons could there be for not responding to you?


  • How Wells Fargo’s Work Culture May Have Cleared The Way For Scandal

    The key ingredients that foster a hostile work environment, according to Faas, are unreasonable expectations put on employees, an acceptance of questionable practices, and reluctance to complain out of fear of retaliation. “If what we hear in the media about the treatment of whistleblowers is true, Wells Fargo has a much bigger issue than the fraudulent accounts—they have a culture of fear,” he says. “If this is validated, it puts to question the credibility of their leadership’s response.”


  • New Ernst & Young Report: Supply Chain Data “Overwhelms” Businesses, Stunting Automation, Efficiency

    Managing the data growth dilemma: The growing tsunami of data is both a boon and bane to businesses in the digital age. Limitless oceans of data, often reflecting customer experience as it happens, have the potential to remake supply chains and business models. These models can and should be more efficient, productive, flexible and responsive. But right now, data is a mess. The current period of hyper data growth leaves most companies in a position where their ability to uncover business insights is effectively hidden within an increasingly complex and often unfathomable amount of data.


  • Supply Risk and Compliance are Disconnected — That’s a Problem and an Opportunity

    So, you’re stuck in the supply risk swamp and bogged down by compliance regimes. And you know there is waste everywhere and opportunity all around. So, as a supply professional, what should you do? You need to align risk management and compliance management with not just each other but with performance management (including continuous improvement) — and tie them all into your value chain processes. As those processes go upstream and external, this is where procurement and supply chain groups feel this problem — and need for alignment — more than anyone in the enterprise.


Photo: JD Weiher

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News You Can Use: 7/6/2016

sn_suitcases_Mike Birdy

  • Your Procurement Sucks … and Here are 3 Likely Reasons Why.

    Invoices. RFPs. Catalogues. It’s not the 90s anymore, it’s the teens. If you don’t have a modern e-invoicing, e-RFX, and e-Catalog/e-Shopping solution there’s no hope of you ever getting your Procurement on track because you’ll never be able to process the mound of paperwork that is getting bigger and bigger every day as your organization grows and more invoices go in, more RFPs go out, more suppliers respond, and more suppliers send you their catalogues that get bigger every year.


  • Flipping the office telepresence model

    If you haven’t encountered a telepresence robot before, they look surprisingly humble. There is some variety in appearance, but the basic elements are: a screen that functions as a “head,” a “leg” or a “neck” for turning the “head” and a set of gyroscopic wheels for traveling. The model we use is made by Double Robotics and is essentially an iPad on a leg with wheels. Though it may seem simple, the technology is quite remarkable in what it can do for bringing people together.


  • Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Brexit Update (Absolutely Not Safe for Work!)

    Seriously bad language on this one… you have been warned. 
  • Tech culture still pushing out women, study finds

    The research was conducted by having more than 40 undergraduate engineering students keep bi-monthly diaries, providing the study with more than 3,000 entries to analyze. The results were published in a paper titled “Persistence is cultural: Professional socialization and the persistence of sex segregation,” in the May issue of Work and Occupations.


  • Supply Risk Management Can Not Be Siloed

    even though there may have been hundreds of smaller incidents in the supply chain that resulted in small fines, unexpected cost increases, disruptions, and minor brand damage, if no single incident has been severe enough to get the C-Suite’s attention, something else will always be higher priority


Photo: Mike Birdy

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News You Can Use: 4/13/2016


  • Who’s the Boss of Workplace Culture?

    When asked what they do to preserve and strengthen workplace culture, HR professionals and managers were on the same page, listing “training and development” (72 percent and 61 percent, respectively) and “getting feedback from employees and acting on it” (45 percent and 46 percent) as the two top strategies.


  • Why Create RFP Hell?

    This is not a good thing to do. A company with a reputation for putting its potential suppliers though RFP hell is not one that many suppliers will want to deal with. The more a supplier’s peers complain about RFP hell with Company X, the fewer are the suppliers who will even acknowledge the existence of an RFP from Company X. As the word of RFP Hell from Company X spreads, the only suppliers that will respond to an RFP from Company X are those that are desperate. Those in bad financial shape, those without a stable customer base, and those with a bad reputation. These are not suppliers you want to deal with.


  • How to build cybersecurity into outsourcing contracts

    Customers must perform a gap analysis between the vendor’s offering and the customer’s requirements to identify gaps and determine whether they can be covered by either party. In addition, narrow limitations of liability—frequent in cloud contracts—can warp the incentives for protection against cyber risk. While there has been a significant growth among sophisticated cloud vendors who are able to address their customers’ data protection and compliance requirements, there is still substantial variation among cloud vendors’ ability to adequately address such requirements.


    The key contractual provisions to mitigate cyber risk are: (1) the security standards required of the vendor; (2) restrictions on subcontracting; (3) employee related protections, such as background checks and training; (4) security testing; (5) security audits; (6) security incident reporting and investigation; (7) data retention and use restrictions; (8) customer data access rights; and (9) vendor liability for cyber incidents.


  • Failure to Monitor a Supply Chain for Risk Can Tarnish Your Brand

    A recent study by CIRANO found that while there is an 80% chance of a company losing at least 20% of its value at least once during a five year period as a result of a negative, but well publicized, incident, a major incident that negatively impacts the brand in a significant way can be much worse. Just ask Airbus that had its stock plummet by over 26% in a single day, equivalent to a market capitalization loss of approximately €5.4 Billion, after it announced on the close of trading on June 13, 2006 that issues with the supply and installation of electrical harnesses would lead to a further six-month delay in the delivery of the A380 (and that the impact of the disruption on earnings before interest and tax would be €500M per year for four years).


  • SAP Ariba bids to transform financial supply chain in partnership with Prime Revenue

    “To compete and win in today’s global economy requires digital supply chains that are connected, agile and intelligent,” said Alex Atzberger, President, SAP Ariba. “In joining forces, SAP Ariba and PrimeRevenue can create a closed-loop system that links all of the data companies need to manage transactions and supply chain financing events with greater insight, speed and simplicity than ever.”


Photo: Calib Frith

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News You Can Use: 12/9/2015


  • Why Supply Chain Is Make-or-Break for Groupe Dynamite and Red Wing Shoes

    The reality, as those in the trenches know far too well, is exceedingly more complex, with nuanced real-world variables that make certainty a near impossibility. Apparel and footwear companies including Red Wing Shoes and Groupe Dynamite shared their experiences at Logility’s Connections conference in San Diego, revealing how improving their supply chain operations has been essential to international expansion, catering to Millennial tastes and launching new product lines.



    If you’re a comedian, great. But, says Parker, “telling jokes is an art that few can master. The chances are it will fall flat or lead to an embarrassing silence. This means you have blown the vital opportunity to make a good first impression and will struggle to regain the audience and your confidence. A personal anecdote will be a better opener in most cases.” Bonus: You’ve no doubt been telling your best anecdotes at dinner parties for years, so you’ve got a lot of practice with format and pacing.


  • Black Monday – Supply Chain problems

    Both Argos and Tesco Direct have admitted issues in being able to deliver orders on Black Monday on time. Reading through the article there is an important quote from Stuart Higgins, retail partner at LCP Consulting. “Retailers continue to pursue a faster and freer agenda which is simply placing too much pressure on their back end infrastructure and carrier partners to deliver.” Confirms what Temando found about many retailers’ back-end shipping processes not being totally automated.


  • OK, So You’re Not Google. You Can Still Compete With It for Top Talent

    Working for a startup means that when you have a new idea, you start as small as you can, build smart, prove your concept, then scale it once you have evidence that it works. That continuous feedback loop is part of what draws people to startups in the first place. Engineering talent, for example, usually has a love of problem-solving. It’s why they entered the field in the first place.

    Dealing with bureaucracy, paperwork and being required to justify budgets are a lot less interesting, and that’s a built-in advantage for most startups. If you want to test something, you go for it. Once you want it to go live and be in production, or grow on a bigger scale, then you present data and make your case to the team.


  • Black Swans and the Risks in Supply Chains

    Likewise, the ability to quickly identify a disruptive event and to respond immediately is critical to a company’s efforts to keep global operations running and to recover.

    Over the last five years the use of sensors that detect threats ranging from tsunamis to suppliers in financial difficulty has become widespread.

    A new crop of software applications are able to take such data, along with other information about worldwide events and translate that into recommended actions for a company. Applications can use tailored knowledge of supplier locations, bills of material, and the role certain products and customers play in supply chains to prioritize responses. Such systems are becoming essential to fast detection and efficient response.


  • Why Office Singing May Be the Next Yoga
    No…just…Hell No.

    Andrew McCrea, account executive at the Los Angeles-based public relations firm, PMBC Group, says office karaoke nights have helped the company’s employees bond more deeply. Karaoke nights were originally done when the company brought on new team members as a way to introduce the team to one another but they soon realized singing together helped develop a sense of unity year round. “You learn to be vulnerable around your colleagues and develop a sense of trust,” he says.


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News You Can Use: 11/11/2015


  • Could Detroit become the next Silicon Valley?
    I have actually talked about this before… I actually think the urban setting and rock bottom real estate costs could lure young technical people who have been passed over to make something new.  It has the right mix of social cause and opportunity.  The city just needs to get out of its own way. 

    Amazon announced plans at the end of September to help continue this growth by creating a center of technology in downtown Detroit. The tech giant plans to build a corporate office to bring more full-time technology jobs to Michigan. And as a friendly introduction to the city, Amazon donated 30 Amazon Fire tablets to the Carver STEM academy program in the Detroit Public Schools, as well as $10,000.


  • Federal IT outsourcing spend alarmingly poorly managed

    Leading companies approach IT outsourcing strategically, taking an aggregate approach to managing IT services spending rather than making such purchases on a piecemeal basis. By doing so, they achieve four to 15 percent savings on these services annually, according to the GAO. While this report noted that efforts by these federal departments to better manage their IT outsourcing has improved in recent years, with each agency designating officials and creating offices to identify and implement strategic sourcing opportunities, it found that most of these agencies’ IT spending “continues to be obligated through hundreds of potentially duplicative contracts that diminish the government’s buying power.”


  • IT Vendor Risk Management: Improving but Still Inadequate

    1. Nearly half of critical infrastructure organizations DO NOT conduct IT vendor security audits on a regular basis. These are the very firms that provide us with electricity, financial services, health care, telecommunications, etc. Very scary.

    2. Critical infrastructure organizations are especially lax around the security of third-party distributors. This is especially troubling since distributors not only source IT products as a proxy for customers but also provide value-added services (i.e. configuration, customization, installation, etc.). This gives distributors absolute carte blanche to corrupt otherwise clean hardware and software.


  • 3 Plays Great Coaches Use to Deliver Criticism
    I don’t know if feedback has to be all sunshine and puppy dogs, but I do think it should be focused and not stated in generalizations. Critiques should be made with specific examples and then provide suggestions to avoid them (especially for younger workers).

    Good coaches don’t let an error overshadow what the player has done right all game. They complement the athlete on something they did well that half or an aspect of their game that they are improving. This shows the athlete that the coach isn’t just looking at them when they mess up, but that they recognize and appreciate the athlete’s strengths as well. The same is true in the workplace. Support your teammate and let them know where they have been excelling. The rule of thumb is five positive comments for every negative one. Interestingly, research on relationships both in and out of the business world has found that a similar ratio works for delivering criticism. Psychologist John Gottman analyzed married couples and found  the single biggest determinant  of divorce is the ratio of positive to negative comments the partners make to one another. The happiest couples demonstrated a ratio of about five positive comments for every negative one they delivered.


  • Box CEO: ‘I’m the biggest anti-shadow IT person’

    CIOs didn’t get it, or chose not to, so Box initially circumvented CIOs, taking the product to departmental line of business managers. And when the software went viral, seeping its way into other parts of the business, Levie and his sales team would call the CIO and tell them. That angered CIOs, who often blocked Box. So Box ceased calling IT departments, quietly building up its technology features and bolstering security to make the software more palatable for enterprises. Now a mature, public company itself, Box counts General Electric, AstraZeneca, Proctor & Gamble and others among its customers. “I feel your pain now, I understand why you blocked us for so long,” Levie told the audience.


  • Is Your Team Starting to Look Like ‘The Walking Dead’? 3 Ways to Resurrect Team Morale.

    Innovate, disrupt, re-think. These are all key phrases in leadership buzzword bingo these days. Yet, all too often, companies don’t create a culture that really empowers people to take the healthy risks needed to bring about this kind of change. Speaking from personal experience, I was once fired for speaking my mind and challenging the status quo at one of my previous employers.

    You never know where the next great idea in your company might come from. So, it’s critical that leaders create a culture where employees know they will be heard and, more importantly, supported in seeing their ideas through to fruition.


Photo: Jordan McQueen

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