The topic of supply-chain risk management is fraught with agonizing questions. Should global businesses emphasize risk prevention, or steel themselves to respond to whatever disaster might occur? Should they seek to transfer risk, or concentrate on achieving better risk-management up front? Should they attempt to do all of the above? The wrong answer can mean the death of an organization.
For McCormick & Company, the ubiquitous producer of spices and flavorings, 2011 was one tough year. I'm not talking about financials; McCormick's net sales for the year were up 10.8 percent over 2010, to $3.7bn, while net income rose 5 percent, to $374.2m - not a bad performance in a sluggish economy. I'm referring to the anti-trifecta of disasters and disruptions that severely challenged the company's ability to service its customers.