February 6th, 2014

Supply Chain Management

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Here we review recent GC Capital Ideas stories that have covered issues related to supply chain management.

Emerging Risks:  Managing the Unknown:  Having examined the three emerging risks of cyber, climate change and space in detail, it is clear they present serious threats to businesses and (re)insurers. Not only will the fallout from these risks result in losses we can currently anticipate and predict (such as increased property damage and liability vulnerability), but they also have the potential to trigger costly secondary impacts such as a breakdown in supply chains, reputational damage, disrupted power supplies and possibly others that are more difficult to foresee.

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Supply Chain Risk Management and (Re)insurance Solutions:  Technological advances have resulted in business being conducted all over the world in an instantaneous manner, meaning supply chain failures can significantly impact companies’ revenue, credibility and reputation. Companies are therefore now far more exposed to external risks than ever before. This has raised (re)insurers’ concerns over the ability of the market to understand the risks that are being underwritten and the viability of offering business interruption/contingent business interruption cover. Indeed, some (re)insurers have taken the view that risk management strategies at the company level need to be improved before coverage can be offered.

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Causes of Supply Chain Disruption: The Business Continuity Institute’s 2012 Supply Chain Resilience Survey estimates that outsource service provider failure represents one of the most significant causes of supply chain disruption, only lagging behind adverse weather and technology. The particular danger represented by the supplier or service provider, especially if it involves an aspect of critical infrastructure, is that the failure is likely to cut across multiple industries and geographies. For example, the disruption caused by a component part of technology used by a power generator does not just shut the utility down - all commercial and residential operations grind to halt.

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Cyber Risk and its Impact on Supply Chains: Cyber risks are not isolated and are usually connected to other risks. Many companies that are exposed to cyber risks are, for example, also exposed in turn to risks to their supply chain. Due to technological innovation and advances, many parts of a company’s or industry’s supply chain have become interconnected and automated. Technology is indeed a critical enabler of a supply chain’s operations. Therefore a cyber attack has the potential to put an entire company’s supply chain at risk. Cyber security and supply chain risk management must therefore be considered in conjunction with one another.

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Contingent Business Interruption: Life Support for Industry: Contingent business interruption (CBI) is a generic term for extensions to the standard cover that provide for reduction in revenue as a result of damage at locations other than the insured’s own premises, whether it be suppliers or customers. In some cases insurers are providing cover on a “non-damage” basis, which protects against insolvency or political risk among an array of contingencies that might disturb the supply chain.

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