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Business Risk Surveys
Identifying, Assessing, Quantifying and Mitigating Business Risks

Better Risk Management and Risk Mitigation

Risk Surveys Provide a Clear Picture of Your Organization's Risks

Every organization faces its own set of risks, some of which are known but not necessarily quantified or understood, and others that are hidden. Risk surveys are a highly cost-effective way to identify and quantify risks by gathering information, perceptions and insight from managers across an organization.
Quantisoft's risk management surveys force managers at all levels of the organization to think about a wide range of possible risks. Our risk survey approach includes identifying risks by business unit and location and for the organization overall.

Illustrative Risk Mitigation Survey Findings

Quantisoft recently conducted a business risk survey for a U.S. company doing business worldwide. The risk management survey/risk mitigation survey quantified risk likelihood and potential risk impact for over 75 specific risks. Almost 100% Board members, senior and mid-level managers participated in the enterprise risk survey.
The likelihood of risk incidents occurring and the potential risk impact were assessed separately using quantifiable risk scales. Comments and suggestions were also received for each defined risk type.
The following table includes the top 10 risks in terms of risk likelihood and potential risk impact respectively:
Risk Likelihood - Top 10 Risks Risk Impact - Top 10 Risks
1.New Product Development/Salability Risk1.Capacity Risk
2.Competitor Risk2.Sales Risk
3.Capacity Risk3.New Product Development/Salability Risk
4.Customer Concentration Risk4.Economic Downturn Risk
5.Commodity Price Risk5.Customer Concentration Risk
6.Pricing Risk6.Alliance Risk
7.Sales Risk7.Business Interruption Risk
8.Sourced Product Concentration Risk8.Foreign Exchange Risk
9.Foreign Exchange Risk9.Sourced Product Concentration Risk
10.Marketing Risk10.Political Risk
Risk survey comments explain the risks. Quantisoft's business risk survey executive summary analysis reports provide a detailed analysis of the survey ratings and comments, along with a summary of the risk survey findings and recommendations (risk action plan) for managing and mitigating risks.
Quantisoft's risk surveys enable organizations to identify and assess risks, providing a framework for managing and prioritizing risk mitigation initiatives.

Risk Survey Payback

Risk management surveys cost only a few thousand dollars to conduct, with no disruption to your organization. Depending on your organization's industry, size, location(s) and other factors, Quantisoft's risk survey findings can enable better, informed decisions that reduce risks by millions of dollars.

Illustrative Risk Survey Comments

Following are illustrative comments selected from well over 1,000 comments and suggestions received from managers and Board members in this risk survey. The comments illustrate some of the types of risks identified and the importance and possible impact of risk incidents:
  • PC's and networks are so slow. It is really hurting productivity and our ability to respond to customers.
  • I believe we're already seeing customer service risk with the reduction of resources in our customer care center during our most critical time of year. We will not retain customers by having them wait for literally hours on the phone to speak to a customer service rep or wait a week to 10 days to get a response back to an email!
  • We seem to lose distribution each and every year to our competitors because we are not competitive on price (almost always significantly higher than competition for a like quality or like feature item). We tend to view pricing in a vacuum and do not factor everything in. We also burden our US business with fixed costs that should be spread across the entire company. As a result, we turn away business (or won't match competitive pricing) because it looks unprofitable on paper (at least by our accounting methods).
  • Given that +30% of our business is transacted with ________, this is constantly a significant risk as they may choose to develop a private label option as a 100% replacement, or replace us with another branded competitor that is offering better pricing, product offering, trade funding, etc.
  • The way we are currently taking "confidential" information out from the company is not controlled and is risky - laptops without encryption. Suppliers come and go to any area inside company - must have zoning system (e.g. zone A strictly confidential - no supplier can come in)
  • Suppliers have already reduced our credit rating which in turn affects the amount of credit they extend to us for purchase orders. We also have issues paying suppliers on time.
  • Assuming no refinancing, there is a risk that our lenders will exploit flexibility in the loan documents to put a squeeze on us. If we pursue a refinancing, our borrowing costs are likely to go up.
  • Unless we start to analyze our business with some of our retail partners in whole and start to burden our international partners with corporate fixed costs, I fear that we will continue the downward spiral of lost distribution on virtually all sourced businesses as we simply are not competitive and our retail partners have shown that they will leave us for lower priced competitors. Furthermore, our practices of managing our DC costs drive changes to branded products that are not in the best interest for our company (pitting brands against one another for allocations of long-term fixed costs is no way to run a business).
  • we have to improve our inconsistent supply issue
  • Need to establish a longer term, consistent method to allocate distribution expense. We make too many decisions to go after business (or decline) only to have the allocation for a new year's change, resulting in a good/poor decision in hindsight.
  • Service level from factory to local office is not measured correctly, causing significant sales losses while the line fill rate shows almost perfect. Thus, we need to change the way we measure the service level to the regional office, in order to understand and prevent supply issues.
  • In manufacturing point of view, most of us will try to "hide" the true quality situation just for the sake of a "good" report. If a report is shown as 98% yield which it is actually at 90%, the 8% will definitely lead (mislead) to a poor decision.
  • Not sure if we allocate our overhead costs as well as we can. For example, How much do we spend to support the $21,000,000 China sales? Not that we shouldn't pursue this expansion of business, but we should fully understand all the costs involved.
  • Our data has been, at times, questionable leading us to believe we are losing money on some parts of our manufacturing process
  • No FP&A tool - risk of errors in worksheets - risk of not checking sources of data used for decisions - no report writing for financial information. No good analysis of true cost of each product - variances not included in standard costs. Manage by implementing IT applications to move away from spreadsheets and data manipulation
  • The recent press coverage puts us at a risk to continued poor press coverage for outsourcing production that may not be up to our standards and is essentially out of our control.
  • The current relationship with _______ appears to strain given the conflicts of competing in the same area of __________ and seems to be intensifying over the last few years to now. This has been more apparent after their learning from us on production technology...about 2-3 years after the 'know-how' transfer in 2002/3...not only they learned the technology but also the product/market mix requirements. We are competing on price at retail level and not mentioning they have the advantage of 1 less layer.
  • Consumer Behaviors - do we fully appreciate the shift away from TV/Magazines to Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube,..) as a source of information that influences consumer purchases for certain consumer groups???
  • Budgets are based on market forecasts and not on the risk assessments. I hope that with this emphasis on risk assessment, we include the outputs of this study in our annual/strategic business plans.
  • I am very concerned about how we treat our sourced business vendors. I was in many meetings with suppliers in China last year about moving from 60 day terms to 90 days. We already lose priority in manufacturing to our competitors who pay much faster than us. This is especially evident in _________ and ________ where the vendors need to buy material 90 days before our POs are placed. Therefore, they pay for materials 150 days before getting paid and we are trying to get them to 180 days. In virtually every meeting I was in, suppliers said that this would result in higher prices and perhaps cause them to not want to do business with us.
  • Small vendors will not do business @ net 60 terms
  • Missed payments on our end mean delayed delivery of goods. I have already seen this happen in 2010 with a few suppliers. Late payment has resulted in late shipments of goods. Fortunately the sales impact has been small. If terms are not acceptable to us, then we need to change them with the supplier.
  • Sourced products are almost 100% China based. Should look at alternative country sourcing and have plan to change over if needed.
  • 2 key accounts, WM & Target have reduced ________ space year over year and brought in ____________. Their plans with our business are stable but the risk is possible that they eliminate our branded product and replace with their private label brands.
  • We continue to build business with suppliers that continue to disappoint. We need to develop a policy that helps our suppliers grow with us or minimizes total business loss if a supplier fails. This concern needs to be addressed through a mixed functional team so that suppliers can be accurately assessed and "capped" if needed.
  • There is always a risk not to have dual vendors from the beginning. We also might have big losses in spending money on constantly changing vendors. This is a big strain on resources. Not sure if we have looked closely at the cost of changing vendors for few cents cost reductions is to a benefit for the company.
  • All _______ is made at one site. Adding capability at another location would significantly reduce this risk.
  • We should more actively get data for new products with multi-country quotations to maintain the gap assessment should China change. Prices are already increasing as China westernizes. We should be playing more in Portugal, Turkey and S. America with more real data.
  • Minimal visibility in determining if foreign offices have good processes in place to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations.
  • We just accepted with no choice, sub-par quality product (according to our judgment and buyer feedback, but not according to internal QA) to be launched at retail, taking a risk. Decision to let the consumer judge.
  • As we continue to pull cost and quality out of our products to hit margins, there is a real possibility that consumers lose faith on our products from a quality perspective. Need to continually work with quality standards and reputable suppliers.
  • We have been plagued with sourcing and manufacturing issues over the last 5 years. The QA process has not proven reliable. Poor packaging, for instance, on the _______ brand has resulted in several issues that could cause significant safety risks.
  • For _______ & _____ quality deterioration over last few years has caused a major setback on product returns & consumers satisfaction in most areas.
  • Not being informed of changes in materials and manufacturing methods at a vendor. How often is each product tested during years of production?
  • I am not sure about our qualification criteria for products we buy from China. There is an increasing level of risk in quality of all products sourced from China.....possible toxins in the materials used in our products.
  • Concerned about the security [or lack thereof] at the _________ facility - minimum wage outsourced security, antiquated or no security systems, cameras etc, no focused internal security contact. Ongoing problems that could hugely impact our success. Some recent small fixes but not nearly enough.
  • The risk is that too many records are retained resulting in increased risk in any sort of liability claim. Currently, no records retention/disposal process exists. At risk with paper and electronic documents.
  • I do worry about records retention more than any other issue that I confront in the legal department. I think it is only a matter of time before this is used as a cudgel against us in a litigation. Frankly, the fact that we retain stuff too long could cut both ways...we may find exonerating information. (Although it does add to costs of retention.) It's the absence of discipline around how any copies there are, in what form, subject to what destruction, etc. that is a bit of an abyss. Again, the rules of civil procedure put an onus on parties to litigation to be able to demonstrate that their systems would not have inadvertently destroyed relevant info. I continue to think that it would be a prudent investment to undertake the process of understanding our house and getting it in order in this regard.
  • Our former supplier ________ has been distributing our goods improperly. We faced legal issues last year that could possibly happen again.
  • Lots of legacy plans and contracts in place. It didn't appear that we had a clear contracts process in place in prior years so those could bite us at some point.
  • I do not believe we do enough to retain top performers and we do not recruit top performers.
  • Last few new hires have been challenging. Individual(s) took a pay decrease to join company. How long will they stay?
  • In my functional area, salaries are 30% below market comps, which requires "settling" for the best candidate that we can afford, yet the objective is to continually upgrade our talent.
  • We still have some people in upper management who choose to manage by fear. That will result in the loss of valued employees.
  • No back ups for production & hence greater risks to the most expensive assets of our company.
  • We are too soft with security in manufacturing and distribution facilities
  • We have been near or at capacity for several years on _______ and ________. Many second and third tier customers have been serviced poorly over that timeframe. I expect we will lose business at these customers if our poor service continues much longer.
  • _________ supply is the number one factor impacting our retail stores growth.
  • China based suppliers have the potential of going bankrupt - we do not have a good tool to see their financial stability
  • we do not have adequate disaster recovery plans for our facilities in the US or overseas and we do not understand the preparedness of our critical suppliers
  • Let's be clear. I don't view a disaster as almost certain. I view it as certain that we do not have a disaster recovery plan in place understood by the requisite parties.
  • Inventory management continues to be a challenge - need major overhaul of inventory process along with demand planning, supply planning and actual consumption reconciliation. This is the biggest area of concern for meeting customer expectations. Costs for expediting orders while millions of dollars in inventory sits idle is a hard fact to face.
  • Service levels on _________ are at unacceptable levels in Latin America and we risk distribution losses. ________ sales are down 41% vs. last year primarily due to shortages.
  • Drawings are not available for some of the electrical, water, environmental effluent piping, and other piping infrastructure. This increases the risk during major repairs.
  • Our sales are not meeting the sales plan - how does this happen if the plan is built by account and sku consumption? We always scramble to meet plan - and therefore incur lots of cost due to lack of product planning.
  • What would happen if we lost the WalMart business? this is the question that I think about every day
  • We have a lot of new products in the market right now. There is a lot riding on consumer acceptance and new distribution. Marketing planning is essential to drive consumer interest. Budgets need to be available for this throughout the year.
  • I think there is a risk centered around the use of Social Media by our employees--especially on our equipment, but also on personal time if it involves company information or company personnel. Are our policies explicit and robust on this new technology phenomenon to mitigate risk that we have vicarious liability for what our employees are doing? Do we/should we monitor this? Are we using it ourselves in an appropriate manner in terms of screening candidates for open positions, for example? I just attended a seminar on this that raises many question that I plan to pursue.
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