All supply chain operations face risk. For banks and financial
institutions the risk is even greater. In this QAD Precision Report,
we look at threats to the banking supply chain and the steps
financial institutions can take to mitigate risk.
Even the best run organizations with robust supply chains and mature
business processes face external threats. Natural disasters,
geopolitical upheavals, shifting trading relationships, labor
shortages, cyber attacks, theft and loss can all impact supply chains
and the smooth running of business.
For banks and financial institutions, the risks are even higher.
Security is especially critical in the financial supply chain because
of the sensitive nature of shipments.
A 2018 Dun
& Bradstreet survey of 1,100 financial risk professionals
ranked supply chain disruption as the foremost risk they faced. Over a
third — 38 percent — called monitoring risks within the customer,
supplier, or partner base a “high” risk.
To Mitigate Risk, You Need Good Data
To understand the threats your enterprise faces and how best to
mitigate them, you need to undertake a risk assessment. You need to
analyze your business processes, what works well and what you could improve.
A risk assessment is not something you can do once and call it a day.
Business environments, competitive landscapes and technology are all
subject to change. Risk assessment should be an ongoing process.
Financial institutions need global, system-wide visibility into their
logistics and supply chain processes. It is impossible to know where
the threats truly are if you have blind spots.
Unfortunately, blind spots are common. The Dun & Bradstreet
report suggests that many financial leaders lack the necessary tools
for forecasting and monitoring risk.
Although they may use in-house analytics, credit reports and
third-party data, over half of respondents noted difficulty sharing
data or using data to drive risk mitigation strategies. It’s not the
lack of data that’s the problem — it’s lack of integrated data. Over
60 percent of respondents said that their data currently exists in
Therefore, the first crucial step in mitigating risk is effective
data management. Data needs to be fully integrated and leveraged
across the organization.
To make a complete assessment of your current processes, you will
have to identify areas of risk. This means considering risk from
several angles. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
The regulatory landscape is not static. New free trade agreements,
such as the recent EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, changes to
existing ones like the disengagement of the UK from the European Union
can impact financial supply chains. Supply chains have to be nimble to
keep up with these changes.
THEFT AND LOSS
Nearly a third of the cost of logistics disruptions is as a result of
loss or theft. Money shipments are high-risk targets, so this is a
constant threat for banking and financial security firms.
Banks also need to keep a close eye on geopolitical and other events
that could potentially cause upswings in criminal activity in all the
countries, territories or even cities that they serve.
WEATHER AND NATURAL DISASTERS
Ensuring that each machine has cash available for withdrawal is
already a huge undertaking. Banks need contingency plans should
natural disasters strike. Predicting disasters may be impossible, but
weather events — particularly if extreme weather such as hurricanes,
typhoons or heavy snowfall are common at certain times of the year.
Weather events that occur in regions with less infrastructure can be
especially challenging. Without insight into alternate carriers and
rerouting options, logistics operations at the mercy of the weather.
LACK OF INTERNAL EXPERTISE
Risk and internal expertise are intrinsically linked. If — or when —
you manage requirements outside your area of expertise, risk of
regulatory missteps or supply chain disruptions increase. When this
happens, an organization must either develop the expertise needed, or
outsource this to a trusted expert.
One example is entering new markets where you lack in-country
expertise. There are many countries where carriers can only provide
limited service, or only serve certain regions. Risk of crime also
varies by country, as well as region-by-region. Working with
in-country or regional experts can reduce risk in countries where you
lack this kind of expertise.
To reduce your risk you must thoroughly understand the threats your
organization faces. You must also consider how these threats could
change over time.
Plan for the Inevitable
From the risk of natural disasters to human factors such as loss or
theft, risk to the financial supply chain is nearly inevitable.
However, with proper planning you can mitigate those risks. The key is
to separate predictable and unpredictable risks.
To do this, you’ll want to gather business intelligence about your
logistics performance and try to identify patterns. You’ll likely
discover that some of the risks your business faces are predictable,
such as seasonal “rushes” or slow periods. Even some “unpredictable”
natural disasters – such as weather – may not be predictable but have
a seasonal and regional component.
Even in terms of physical loss and theft, it may be difficult to
determine which specific loads may become targets, but you can usually
identify specific routes or regions where theft is a bigger concern.
By studying the intelligence that’s available to you in this way,
you’ll gain a better understanding of the risks your financial
logistics operation faces, and be able to identify those areas where
you can make improvements that can reduce the risk to your global
financial supply chain.
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