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Competitors

All differences in business models can create the potential for competitive risk exposure. This does not mean that a company should imitate its competitors, but that it should consider the risk when they have different strategies.

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It is not always possible to anticipate the effects of unexpected events that occur throughout the business cycle.

But those who routinely examine the way risks propagate across the entire value chain are better prepared for second-order effects.

Risk along the value chain

Most companies only examine the most direct risks facing a company and tend to neglect secondary risks that can have an even greater impact.

Companies need to learn to evaluate aftereffects that could weaken whole value chains.

Supply chains

Risk analysis focuses all too often only on direct threats. The classic domino effects linked to supply chains include 

  • disruptions in the availability of parts or raw materials
  • changes in the cost structures of suppliers
  • shifts in logistics costs

Indirect risks can also hide in distribution channels. It may include the inability to reach the end customers, new distribution costs or redefined business models. 

The most complex domino effect is the responses from customers.

The shift in buying patterns can create a typical cascading effect. Another is changed demand levels.

Effects on a company’s risk profile

Considering the impact of a risk on a company and how it propagates through the valued chain can help management think through the change. For example, the risk posed by carbon regulation on the aluminum industry.

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RELATED IDEAS

Companies should gain a clear understanding of the way each employee and team do their present work and involve them in redesigning their roles and ways of working. It will spark better ideas and ensure pain points will get addressed early on. It will also create stronger skill matches and smoother transitions.

When organizations introduce new work, outside-in analytics and expert input can also help to find answers.

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IDEAS

Finance has its own heuristics in a time of uncertainty.

  • Commercial organizations are often slow to react to changes to their forecasts.
  • Working capital often increases, consuming cash and restricting liquidity.
  • Companies often become motivated sellers when asset prices are low.

Companies should use data and information technologies to regularly run scenarios to review and challenge economic, business, and sales projections.

Blockchain: The Engine Of The New World
  • Blockchain is a digital archive or registry, which can be private or public. It relies on a digital network of computers, or ‘nodes’ to verify details of the information, such as the authenticity of a transaction in the case of cryptos.
  • Many of us have heard of cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin), which have exploded in value in the last ten years.
  • The underlying technology, blockchain, is the heart of crypto and many other new digital applications and ecosystems.
  • Weirdly enough, it is the same technology that powered torrent downloads in their heyday, about 18 years ago.