It is vital that C&T suppliers identify and manage risk exposure in a positive way, aimed at optimising the opportunities that arise from unprecedented change, says Brian Moore
While pro-active risk management should be applied to all customers, it is vital that suppliers at least focus on those retailers that have made a feature of risk management in their corporate strategies. To ignore risk in making presentations to such customers can often send a signal of complete mismatch between the needs of supplier and retailer.
The degree of a customer’s risk sensitivity can usually be gauged from the extent of its coverage of risk in their latest annual report. As it happens, Amazon devotes ten pages to risk in its annual report but, as Debenhams may be more relevant to C&T suppliers, it is perhaps more productive to focus on its six page treatment in its 2012 annual report.
A virtual primer on risk management, Debenhams’ latest annual report devotes six pages to defining and spelling out its position on risk, in terms of chance of occurrence and impact on the business. Any C&T NAMs wanting to optimise their trading partnerships with the retailer will need to demonstrate how their policies and process are compatible and complementary in terms of the supplier risks covered in the Debenhams’ report, or risk being ignored....
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