Risk Management Article

Steven Stein’s picture

By: Steven Stein

Supply chain management (SCM) has been defined as “the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand, and measuring performance globally.”1 With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance and, fortuitously, vulnerability of a number of supply chains have been highlighted. This is especially true with the disruption of overseas supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE), e.g., gloves and masks, and pharmaceuticals.

Suppliers can be considered third-party organizations, but they are also extensions of your organization. One aspect of managing suppliers is to evaluate their capabilities to supply items or services that meet your requirements or specifications at a fair price, with on-time delivery, and appropriate customer service and support.

Multiple Authors
By: Terry Onica, Cathy Fisher

With recent disruptions critically impacting the automotive supply chain and costing manufacturers millions in lost production and sales, it is clear that supply delivery issues now need the same level of attention as vehicle safety and quality. What is really at the root of ongoing delivery performance issues, and how can automotive OEMs and suppliers overcome these systemic deficiencies to avert industrywide disaster?

Anxieties over late deliveries

Automotive vehicle quality and safety improved dramatically during the last three decades as OEMs and suppliers implemented process-focus in their operations and adopted advanced technologies for design and production. These positive advances, though, are threatened by a global supply chain struggling with supplier delivery issues that delay vehicle launches and cost millions of dollars in lost sales opportunities.

And it will only get worse without industrywide action.

Christopher Allan Smith’s picture

By: Christopher Allan Smith

This series is about getting you through a catastrophe. The first three articles (see “All articles in this series”) were about preparing and responding to the world around you when it’s consumed by calamity. As our world here was. In this article, we deal with how to handle all the information, good and bad, that comes at you while you are trying to respond to a disaster.

I’m known to you at Quality Digest as the director and main hand behind the video content here. As with some Quality Digest employees, my life was altered with shocking speed in November 2018 when the Camp Fire destroyed most of the communities on the Paradise Ridge in Butte County, California.

And like any catastrophe that includes destruction, the deaths of innocents, factors of human folly, and shreds of knowledge bought at too high a price, there are echoes to be found in the U.S. Civil War.

One morning in 1862, two Union soldiers, Sergeant John Bloss and Corporal Barton W. Mitchell, noticed three cigars wrapped with paper. You see, they were resting in a field where a few days earlier Confederate troops had camped. Unwrapping the paper, they found a memo titled “Special Order No. 191, Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia.”

Christopher Allan Smith’s picture

By: Christopher Allan Smith

I was a strange kid. Who knows where our fears come from? What I do know is Godzilla is somewhere near the core of one of my weirder fascinations. When I was four, I watched Godzilla vs. King Kong on TV with my father. It made a mark.

One part megalophobia, one part awesome nature, one part primal terror, the image of a towering monster moving with purpose—in a context where human efforts were irrelevant—left in me a dreadful thrill. A fascination with the moments, the exact circumstances, where human hopes and ingenuity are rendered to soot by the forces of nature.

My predilection for overanalyzing has put me on some strange paths when trying to satisfy the need to know why things go so wrong. I’ve read more books than I can count about the sinking of the Titanic. YouTube knows me well enough now to serve me, unrequested, real-time CGI reconstructions of NTSB crash analysis. I’ve read the Rogers Commission report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Duke University’s picture

By: Duke University

Price discounts and other promotions on consumer goods can boost a product’s sales in the short term, but that same strategy may destroy a brand’s equity, according to research from Carl Mela, a marketing professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Brands often focus on the short-term incentives of price promotions—a large and temporary increased lift in sales—but that effect can cause them to under-invest in brand-building strategies such as advertising, new product development, and new forms of distribution, Mela said in a live discussion of his research on Fuqua’s LinkedIn page.

Regular promotions can also turn loyal customers into “deal junkies” who learn to buy the products only when they’re on sale, Mela said.

“If firms destroy brand equity, they risk conditioning their customers to only buy its product when it’s available on deep discount,” Mela said in an interview. “As a result of misguided pricing strategies, even some powerhouse brands have lost customer loyalty and strength.”

Multiple Authors
By: Kimberly Merriman, David Greenway, Tamara Montag-Smit

As vaccinations and relaxed health guidelines make returning to the office a reality for more companies, there seems to be a disconnect between managers and their workers about remote work.

A good example of this is a recent op-ed written by the CEO of a Washington, D.C., magazine that suggested workers could lose benefits like healthcare if they insist on continuing to work remotely as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes. The staff reacted by refusing to publish for a day.

Ryan McKenna’s picture

By: Ryan McKenna

To date, this series focused on relatively simple data analyses, such as learning one summary statistic about our data at a time. In reality, we’re often interested in a slightly more sophisticated analysis, so we can learn multiple trends and takeaways at once and paint a richer picture of our data.

In this article, we will look at answering a collection of counting queries—which we call a workload—under differential privacy. This has been the subject of considerable research effort because it captures several interesting and important statistical tasks. By analyzing the specific workload queries carefully, we can design very effective mechanisms for this task that achieve low error.

Christopher Allan Smith’s picture

By: Christopher Allan Smith

This series is about planning for the worst that can face us.

It’s jumping-off point is the National Institute of Standards and Technology publication, “A Case Study of the Camp Fire—Fire Progression Timeline,” an epic and thorough study about the wildfire that changed the lives of my family, friends, and some fellow Quality Digest associates in November 2018. That fire razed most of the communities on the Paradise Ridge in Butte County, California, destroyed about 19,000 structures—95-percent of the residences in Paradise—and killed 85 people.

I have come to see my part in my community’s recovery as voicing the lessons we learned—literally taking the awful and searing things we learned that are of some use before, during, and after a disaster—and passing them on to other communities so they may face their trials with some better measure of success and safety.

Don Cox’s picture

By: Don Cox

Despite the high ratio of intelligent work-from-home (WFH) business professionals, the current cybersecurity landscape for that work model could best be described as disorganized and dysfunctional. Hackers have been busy exploiting these cyber risks, as evidenced from the reported 300-percent increase in cybercrimes in just the first quarter of 2020.

In the more than 791,790 cybercrimes reported throughout 2020, the total losses exceed $4.1 billion. For small or family-owned businesses, losses from a cyberattack could be unrecoverable and have ripple effects for years to come. The swift shift to remote work at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic only exacerbated flawed and often stop-gap cybersecurity plans. Now, more than a year into virtual work for many Americans, it’s clear businesses can’t wait any longer to fully invest in cybersecurity for team members, programs, and education as WFH is here to stay.

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Barbara Cuthill’s picture

By: Barbara Cuthill

The internet of things (IoT) offers many attractions for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) that may want to integrate IoT into their facilities and operations, or who seek to enter the IoT market with innovative products. However, when venturing into the IoT waters, it’s helpful to be prepared for the potential cybersecurity pitfalls, whether they are implications for organizational risk management when introducing IoT to the environment, or considerations for product design and support when entering the marketplace as a product vendor.

The NIST Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things program is working to provide the information that SMMs need to navigate these potentially turbulent waters.

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