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Companies need to consider the virtual as well as physical supply chain: FERMA president

Risk managers are under constant pressure to innovate, to find new and often imaginative ways of helping their companies, in an environment of uncertainty and continuing change, the President of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA), Peter den Dekker, stated at the opening reception of the 2011 FERMA Risk Management Forum in Stockholm.

He said: “Business models and processes are both different and more complex than they were ten, or even five years ago. We face economic uncertainty on a scale that many of us have never experienced before. The theme for the 2011 FERMA Forum is shaping up for the future. Risk managers have to be fit to manage a process of continual change without knowing what the future will look like and what the risks will be.”

To illustrate his comment, den Dekker pointed out that risk managers already had to identify and manage the risks associated with physical supply and distribution chains that spanned the world. These networks were forever changing as businesses moved into new territories, took on new partners and merged with other companies.

He continued: “Today and even more in the future, we also have to consider the exposures our companies have from virtual supply chains, as IT moves into the cloud. It is demanding enough to be confident about the quality of our partners’ suppliers when they have a presence on the ground. How much more difficult will it be when they are in the cloud?”

Another challenge, said den Dekker, is extracting what is meaningful from the enormous amount of information that now comes to risk managers. “We have to find ways to extract what is meaningful from this background noise and turn it into something which can be used as a basis for decision making. We need tools to do that.”


•Date: 5th October 2011 • Region: Europe •Type: Article • Topic: Enterprise risk management

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