Taking the tailor made approach.

Late last week when I came to Bangkok I went to see my tailor who I have known him for many years.  He told me, with business down,, he was trying new ways to keep people well dressed. “And it’s not just about cutting the cloth for a better fit either”, he laughed in self-amusement. Adding more seriously he said “Staying in the race is the first step, and then we have to be even more creative and clip_image002innovative to remain there.”

Our conversations began when I asked him to make me three suits. His reaction seemed odd, as he asked me if I was sure. Feeling the pinch it was a risky question that may reduce my order. I explained that looking sharp in business is important to project confidence you will be there for the long term for the customer. He already knew that and listened as he knew there was more. I then added smiling, “I am buying up in case you go out of business and I cannot find another tailor so good”.

He laughed and told me his buying a card scanner was already making a difference. Collecting information on a thouclip_image004and or so customer business cards, a new database was allowing him to send them information. Many who had forgotten him emailed him back and more business was already coming. Today I got a newsletter from him that explained his new mail order service and the benefits with a catchy close “TO STAY WELL DRESSED, WE CAN NOW COME TO YOU”.

I do believe, more than any other time, small business taking some risks may be vital. In some cases it may even be an only choice for survival. There is so much economic confusion; people need someone to trust and simplify the journey for them. Reinforcing buying habits and renewing old customer contacts to boost confidence can simply showing them you are still there and can service them. And being smart about doing that is not so hard.

I also believe it will be small business and entrepreneurial innovators like him with their act together, who will lead the way for many. The personal touch goes a long way and providing information to your customers like that helps. It is all about how you can meet their needs. It is not only good for selling but also a way of a keeping small business on track. Holding position is also a given, while you also look for the new opportunities.

And remember this can be done while many big guys’ attention is constrained from solving customer problems while their attention is on stitching up balance sheets, to save them from unraveling.

By the way, I only took two suits on his suggestion. He suggested a substitute for the third, a jacket with couple of pairs of tailored slacks was better for me.

One of the two suits was delivered yesterday and the winter weight one, clip_image006together with the jacket, trousers, and six monogrammed shirts are being shipped direct to home in Melbourne to save me carrying them on to my next leg. That was a very nice touch I appreciated.

My tailor , true to form, with superb selling skill to listen, convinced me tough times may see me less in Bangkok. To help he plans to send me fabric samples for my future orders. His later mailer confirmed  my sizes for repeats orders, especially shirts, which he said would remind me in about when it seemed about time for a freshen up.

Australian Bush Fires – In memory

1 For Aussies affected by the Fires on Feb 7 this month we acknowledge and pay respect to those who lost their lives. Our sincere condolences go to all those who lost their families and close friends. Many more are still in critical care and all that are affected have to now recover and rebuild their homes and their lives.

Some of our team at home in Australia saw close up the generous support that came from not only locals but from every everywhere to help those  left who have to now rebuild their lives. Gratitude for what has already come in would grossly understate the general responses.  But we know it is still not enough and take this opportunity to encourage anyone who feels so inclined to donate via the Australian Red Cross.   If anyone still needs help to make contact with anyone still missing you can also contact the Red Cross or we can help if you leave a note here for us to contact you. (but please marking it “private” so it is not published).

Most of you have seen the press which has been extensive with world wide cover. The size and ferocity of these monster fires have been extinguished  since Saturday 3 weeks ago on Feb 7 2009  But the pictures continue to remind us of the extent of the suffering they brought.

These pictures taken by fire fighters to help learn for future events.

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US Climate Czar Acts!!

I saw Roland Chessman’s post last week Would you follow the money? In this he points out the US reticence to ratifying Kyoto. But it seems US President Obama has other Ideas. But Roland did not mention Obama’s election platform was to reduce greenhouse gases by 80%  by 2050. Ratified or not Kyoto aims are not even that strong

Here is an article today in entitled “US Climate Czar: CO2 Regulation Ruling To Come Soon” In this it reproduces a Dow Jones Newswire story, which  says 

President Barack Obama’s climate czar said on Sunday the Environmental Protection Agency will soon issue a rule on the regulation of carbon dioxide, finding that it represents a danger to the public. The White House is pressing Congress to draft and pass legislation that would cut greenhouse gases by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, threatening to use authority under the Clean Air Act if legislators don’t move fast enough or create strong enough provisions.

Carol Browner, Obama’s special advisor on climate change and energy, also said the administration is seeking to establish a national standard for auto emissions that could mean tougher efficiency mandates for auto makers. The new standard could be fashioned after strict proposals developed in California that would limit greenhouse gas emissions – initiatives that car makers have vigorously fought.

The comments – the first by the administration on the topic – could lead to another blow for beleaguered car companies such as General Motors and Ford that are already tottering.

Industry fears it could shut down the economy, not only preventing plants from operating and spurring a dramatic retooling of the energy sector but also pushing up costs and hurting the international competitiveness for a raft of sectors. Environmentalists, meanwhile, say action by the administration is required by law and need to pressure lawmakers to act.

Looking at the debate from another perspective. It seems not everyone including many scentific communites are aligned on the premise itself that Global warming is man made. It  is asserted that 94% of the carbon in the atmosphere has the same isotopic signature as the natural background. 6% is of an organic origin, fossil fuels included. Half of that organic source, 3% is what the IPCC itself says man is contributing.

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This chart sourced from Anthony Watt’s who leads an excellent forum on scientific fact and opinion  to understand climate issues in “Watt’s up with that This chart is included in his “The madness is about to begin” post.

I wonder what Al Gore is thinking this morning? He would be breaking out the chapagne for sure. And the US car makers I imagine will now be booking tickets to visit China to find out how they and the rest of the world are already making green efficent cars.

But all that aside, what does all this mean for business? Regardless of the vested interests, who Roland says don’t want to retool or invest in alternatives and continue fight for more mileage on setups they control,  it seems is is all going to happen. The money will be spent and the climate will be changed. Albeit some would have it only adversely on  economic climate.

So with Executive power about to be exercised on a “no turning back platform” to delver on,  it seems the debate is resolved and we will cut emmisions regardles. The the impetus to clean up the planet with the US now leading must be a good thing from many other perspectives too and business and economies involved in the energy to do this will surely benefit.

I am interested in what others think too.

Would you follow the money?

You guys asked me for some comments so I thought I would just do a post instead. I stated with a newspaper read to see what was interesting.  I also know I am cynical about all politics so there is always plenty to scoff at there. But I have to admit Hillary Clinton impressed me today with her visit to China.  On last leg of her Secretary of State to Asia she braved it and went to Beijing. 

I started reading about it in CNN (Feb 21) but all the papers I have checked say this is her most crucial stop-over in her Asia trip. And it signals the new US administration’s first attempts to lay a foundation towards a China policy. Well I think she may have got away with it even though she should know you cannot beat the Chinese at Chinese checkers especially in China.

One clever ploy was her tactical plan. I heard that BBC TV tonight showed Hillary’s first port of call there was a state of the art power station, near Beijing that incidentally uses American technology and is one of the world’s lowest carbon emission sites.On her agenda amongst many things was getting the climate change on the table.

It is also interesting that the US and China are the highest polluters on the planet according greenhouse emission measurements. I just checked the Kyoto agreement between majority of nations which is all about emission reductions. This is a chart I found on Wikipedia that was updated this month on Feb 9 showing those who have ratified it. My Aussie mates would be pleased to see they are now green but look who is still, red. Yes the US.

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Green are countries that have signed and ratified the Kyoto treaty, yellow (Kazakhstan) have signed, but not yet ratified, grey is not yet decided including the Vatican city who are an observer as I am sure they don’t make much smoke even when pope dies and red is signed but with no intention of ratifying.

The Bush Administration’s position in 2005 at Montreal when commenting on US Kyoto ratification was to make a statement that global warming is a problem that either will solve itself or won’t. Wow I mss that man already don’t you?  China, incidentally signed.

I wonder how Hilary handled that one.  But I also understand from my AGW mates that China in substance is still a very reluctant player and I would be sure Hillary knows that too.  I have also heard it said that Chinese business leaders say “Why should we bust our butts to fix our Smokey factories, when the US, who made all the mess in the first place, has not even joined in Kyoto”. They do have a point there, I must admit.

But behind the scenes I have also heard it said they think it is now their turn to make some money, after the US has been cleaning up for 200 years and more. Don’t forget Hilary Chinese don’t only run laundries’ and cook great food. They were actually there at the gold rushes in the 1800’s in Australia and Yukon in Canada and often imagefound gold  first.  I also remember story a good old story about  of a family trying to figure out why their Chinese workers were stealing their house brick by brick. They then realized they were made from alluvial sand from the creek-beds in the gold fields.

So they Chinese know about money and culture and have been studying the US closely since 1421, The Year China Discovered America

I suspect too, even with good intentions of the now more environmentally benevolent China Government, may be still quite hampered. Maybe the 23 provinces and thousand add communes who have representation in that big house in Tiananmen square have ideas to make hay while the sun shines and are have been continuing to build coal fired plants at rates of one and two a month.

Is it any wonder Chinalco want to buy RTZ from the Aussies. Incidentally I heard today, for you guys silly enough to still have RTZ shares, that is not a done deal. RTZ it seems are thinking again and looking for a white night. And guess who they are talking to, Yes, you got it, good old BHP, their old foes have now become best mates. I guess one of them RTZ or BHP Billiton have a good CFO now who can see how to balance the books without selling off the farm.

But back to Hillary. I know she is smart as she knows throwing stones from her glass house is foolishness The US has an a terrible track record in the free enterprise community for not doing anything that does not make a buck. But she can perhaps fall back on the folly of the power and greed model that could happen to China now. Maybe they will fall for that one.

But more power to her that she knows the new administration does not apply those rules to the US anymore with their continued leadership role, determined to live by the human rights baaed on champions for free enterprise. Let’s face it, it may be worth practicing now as they have nothing left to lose.

Even so it seems old habit will die hard as anything that may mean spending a buck on re-jigging perfectly good carbon pollutant gear is still untouchable and is exempt from that ethic. Hence I suspect the US  stated intent for Kyoto non ratification with prevail. Things like the valuable Auto industry is one example that of course would have suffered with emission control and would have gone broke. Lucky for them eh?

So the US independent free enterprise policy in the face of the rest of the jerks  in the world who care and who signed up will now have to wait. For our economies to return we need a  U Turn in policies of the US power brokers. I suspect if it is not going their way regardless of cost they will hamper Obama to stall things as long as possible to hold the line against a China dominance, while they look for other ways to clean up the shambles.I may be too harsh. Obama is not putting up with any crap in his  first 100 days, so perhaps I will give him a break.

Perhaps I have digressed a touch? My praise remains for the Secretary  of Sate Lady’s negotiating ability remains. Anyone who can outmaneuver a powerful like  man her husband Bill when he got him out of bother when he fibbed about playing hide the sausage around at the water cooler is worth a shot. Of course I am referring to the time Hillary nailed him for telling fibs and he took the offensive saying “Just count your lucky stars that you didn’t marry that gas pump attendant over there as you have not have been the First Lady.” To which it is reported she replied, “Bill, if I married that gas pump attendant over there. he would be President”.

And now like the last time in Asia unarmed and alone she is again is braving the dangers to go meet the Chinese President Hu Jintao to agree a framework for further discussions. And for the cynics you may be forgiven for thinking that her visit to the power plant was to signal to China President to buy US technology to cement US relations to continue to cooperate to buy Chinese product. Good one H.

But I have to admit the US does need something to bargain with as the global warming debate is good to go now regardless of Kyoto. And to his credit Hillary’s new offsider at home, President Obama,who  has announced plans to spend up big on emissions control initiatives so at least, as bargaining chip if you will forgive me the pun, she can used it to create some smoke and sell some new products back to the Chinese.

But as was pointed out by the China Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi the two economies are clearly so intertwined that resolving any differences will depend on co-operation. For example Yang said that China is the world’s top holder of U.S. debt. Nice one Yang. And too show his good intentions he added China had swapped its US dollars for U.S. treasury bonds to ensure liquidity and security in its dealings. If I got that right it is very noble, but I wonder if he had some other idea about negotiating power and keeping the greenback cache for a cold and sleet filled day like today at now below 0 degrees C.

It was also reported at the meetings that China-U.S. trade volume rose by 10.5 percent in 2008 to $333.7 billion. Now all that gives them some serious negotiating clout you have to admit. Go somewhere else if you can. But the sting in the tail is it is not so easy boys and girls of the good old US Of A. You will have need pay of the credit card off first.

So the Rhetoric begins. It is now being reported in the press about the meetings acknowledging the economic front is of such high importance with a need for working in cooperation. And US-Sino relations issues on the other hand must take a back seat as the economies are now so intertwined. Never mind there are some serious gaps yet to field. Human rights and especially Tibet is not such a big one. Who cares about few mountain dwellers anyway? Mind you Buddha does have some influence in Asia and Tibet has a big guy there that carries some weight with him.

But the two big hard nuts to crack are the US alignment on long time r China sore, Taiwan and and the US standoff position with North Korea. which also happens to be one of China’s largest trading partners. Incidentally Clinton was reported to have said offline to a reporter that U.S. policy towards Taiwan will not change.  I am sure they don’t want to upset anyone in Taipei but I also it is not because they hold them is in awe for building the first worlds tallest building outside the US,  the Taipei 101 tower.

Incidentally my mate Micheal Zsang who has a prospering in software ands services business based on Shanghai tells me human rights in China are a non-issue. He has done well, as have most of his peers in the last 20 or so years and does not want or see value in any change.

My German pal Ule Behinger who enjoys the being a pseudo Chinese at his production plants there does well making  musical instruments. Zsang  over a beer there recently, pointed out to me that many other Asia countries have codes of conduct to not bag their infrastructure and leaders and they are good places to live too.

North Korea does not seem so hard either now they have stopped making their lethal fireworks.  But Taiwan is a tough one that has gone on since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek did a runner with the family money and declared himself imperial ruler of all of China then used the cash to entice his mates to support him. China Mainland has been pissed off ever since and just wants their money back. Maybe only the Irish can help sort that out.

So who holds the balance of power now, I wonder? Some US Papers today like San Fransico Chroncle have reported the Chinese hosts are plainly more worried about their own sinking economy. But I like their observation of the tone that “This White House is headed in a new direction: eastwards”

Interesting too Chinese President Hu Jinato and U.S. President Barack Obama are scheduled to meet at the G20 meeting in London in April. It looks like Looks like it is your move Barack. Oh one thing is for sure . Like Hilary I think I will follow the money.

It seems Hilary has done a good job, Even in Indonesia she did well fielding issues including one about getting Barak back to pick up the lunch box he forgot when left there as a kid after spending  a fours years at school there.

As I conclude my reading, I thought I would just check out  the FOX News where I see Wall Street is buzzing about a prospect of Bank nationalizations. Wow, I guess they work on the weekend now and have got wind of some communist ideas Hilary has send back from the Chinese. How the wheel turns, even eh  for the mighty land of the free? General Macarthur would surely turn in his grave.

And talking about working on weekend: So do the US Treasury. Reuters have just reported their boss has just waltzed in and told then to start cutting taxes. How novel father Christmas comes in January now too. Or maybe it is a Chinese New year tradition.

It has has also restored my ongoing faith in the human nature, so I can continue to remain cynical of anything political.

This is sure better than watching super bowl. Good luck you  guys and keep up the good work.

…Roland F Chessman

Can image selling tools really sell?

The power of images to sell has made dramatic advances in the last few years. “Adobe Flash” and “Microsoft Silverlight” and more with high speed vector change technologies, that have now made video highly pervasive useable and effective for all sorts of marketing training and general purpose needs. More recent advances in digital imagining with “Stich” technologies have made photos stacks literally come alive.

Google and Microsoft now have images of the whole world with value add applications and innovations being linked daily. So now you can wander the world from an armchair or watch a video of a  seller and buyer role playing, with product demos to give you ideas that may fulfil needs that you have.

But now, once you have eavesdropped on the value and benefits on a canned video, to get under the bonnet to check out the product do you have to still visit a showroom?  Not anymore. With 360 degree view photos you can walk around and look inside physical products like machinery, cars, real-estate and so on unattended and learn more. And all in the comfort of your own office.

Getting reality may then only take seconds as you go to make eye contact with a salesman to assess risk and get the feel for the deal. This can be also done over the phone or via email but for final buying steps on major deals, it generally still needs traditional  contact and human interaction.  For all parties with the seller/buyer cycle reduced with buying journeys made mostly offline, the commercial side can be then quite simple and cost effective for all.

If you thought Google earth was good here is an example of digital imaging that is  truly amazing. A single photographic by Julian Kalmar shows  the glory of the fully restored Piaristen Church in Vienna built circa 1715-22

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Unique about this photos is that it is actually not one but over 250 photos “stitched” together using very clever technology to make a 360 degree view of the whole church interior. So you can pan from any angle and move down the corridors. It is also so dense that you can zoom up close and see very fine detail.

As you check it out and click on this snagged picture I pasted above it takes you to the authors original web site. Make use of the buttons to pan up and down and around and zoom to get a sense of all the beautiful detail. For panning you can also simply hold the mouse pointer down anywhere and move the picture around.

The technology used you have seen on Google earth and in their street maps that join house photos together to make a continuous imagine of a street with 360 views. I found out this is known as Stich technology. Also most amateur cameras now amaze us with photos using less than 10 megapixels The technology for this photo is quite incredible to exceed the gigapixel barrier. (I Gig is 1000 times a megapixel)

For camera buffs Kalmar says he set  up for this shoot with the focal length at 70mm, the exposure: between 5sec. and 1/160 and  using a wide aperture setting at F11. The processing speed was  ISO100. The photo size is  51644 x 25822 pixels to make it a huge 1.3 gigapixel and just a bit big to download.  You can read up on his site for more detail.

If the embedded link fails for some reason use this one:http://photoartkalmar.com/Photoart%20Kalmar%20high%20res/Gigapixel/Piaristenkircheflash.html I have checked with Mr. Kalmar who says his bandwidth can handle high volumes. But you may need to bookmark  this if you find it closed for a period if volumes get too high.  I recommend you persevere.

Now consider the value of this technology for marketing and product demonstrations that allow you to see target products from any angle, both close up and personal, or any respectable angle or perspective.

Comments and ideas on uses of this would be great to share!!!

Is Balance risk being traded for balance of power?

Some have suggested CFO’s risk energy  is better placed to ensure economic fallout is less severe.I have to agree, many CFO’s have been focused on acquisition growth and leveraged efficiencies sometimes at the expense of fundamentals and the basics of risk management itself. Budgeting and expense management are vital but not the only issues that need to be managed as companies struggle to reduce their balance sheet exposures.

I note Dr Kitbamroong’s comment on my post last week entitled “How is Managing Risk a vital CFO role? ?” He made the point very succinctly saying,

“if  one of the daily activities of the CFOs were to monitor and execute risk management  then economies wouldn’t be so bad”.

Squeezing the orange till the skin breaks syndrome on consolidations may not have been all that smart either, as sell-offs are now all the go to rectify debt ridden balance sheets. With extraordinarily high prices having been paid, often for no more than market share based acquisitions, synergy clean-outs and less focused shared service SLA models have often been initiated to justify them and cut cost,s with many likely to fail to deliver the value now in the downturn. This is taking a huge toll on products, capability and good sense in risk management, as overstretched sales forces struggle to  meet their sales numbers at all costs with commercial awareness taking a back seat. All tbis too as they try to sell into confused, overpowered markets, who have also became more demanding and single minded, to focus on ROI, with often higly detaile,d but vaguely qualified business requirments and short term gain and sometimes very doubtful statements about benefits. And of course we all know the consumer and housing markets in the US and everywhere in developed nations all benefited, until it all come crashing down in late 2008 . As the accesses cause bank failures caused money for homes and consumer credit to dry up, the world’s biggest spenders then simply just stopped buying and the cards all started to fall.

Looking back with benefit of hindsight it is seems it was quite inevitable that problems would occur when overcooked demand drops started to kick in early to mid 2008. The risk issues are now clearly being exposed more and more as cover is sought. And as many “Card Pack” builders have already fallen with more likely to come as their reserves run out.

Exacerbating this, the global economy crunch on the consumer credit society that changed the fundamentals of investment multiplier theories in the cashless credit based societies of developed nation is now a large consideration. Consumers with a life style of living on credit in the comfort the future with pay for it, now have a issue to save cash just to survive with a double whammy that they need to pay off their credit card first.

So a US lead recovery is not so easy to understand especially as the double impact effect hits even more as business closures and more unemployment, now over 7% in the US, kicks in. The knock on effect of the economic malaise now endemic in all world economies, will likely metamorphosis differently as supply chains around the world change hands and traditional economies could be reincarnated elsewhere.

People like the small to medium operators and large CFO’s alike, need to get this point well with the likelihood of a long haul and potential W shaped recovery to come. Or worse even a deep U shape recovery with high likelihood we are still on the down side.

These who jumped on the band wagon in the good times and just took the money and trusted they would have it right before the bubble burst, are now paying the price. Hence restructuring, divestment and sell offs and prop-ups are becoming flavor of the month in key industries to fix balance sheets. CFO’s need to look at these issues very hard and do it quickly and too or risk perishing.

So the life of Riley is over as we know it. The power brokers in good shape are now seizing the opportunities with many waiting for more timely pickings to come.

In July last year I was invited to speak at a seminar where I was asked to deal with ideas on understanding and dealing with the dark shadows we were seeing them. In my research it seemed agility to have good information to react and control risk was a key But it was also apparent to watch what the Chinese were buying and move in those markets. For the providers of 60% of the world manufactured goods, there can be no question now about their intent. The Chinese see the opportunities and are talking them. They are literally grabbing control of markets that have evaporated by the developed nations forced abandonment of their excesses, which in turn has created a plethora of wounded and very cheap cash cows.

This of course is nothing new as China has been buying resources and commodities suppliers over recent years as it has cashed up on importing nations endless credit financed spending sprees for manufactured goods. The point is China is practiced at doing this now and is skilled and eager to ramp up their acquisitor efforts as they see opportunity to become the dominate economic leader controlling the world’s supply chains It may seem trite or na?ve to say this to ouch my point further, but it may be for no other reason to reduce their risk.

One example is a 19% take up in the RTZ sell down this earlier this month. RTZ is one of the world’s largest resource providers and key supplier to China. Another example headline today in the Wall Street Journal says “Chinese Companies Plan Europe Shopping Spree” and expands on their planned 2.3 Billion spend-up to take advantage of tumbling asset values in hard-hit Western economies” The article contributed by Steven Yang and Shen Hong also highlights China’s $25 billion loan to Russian energy companies in exchange for larger supplies of crude oil. These examples also points up the cashed up leverage position of China which pales into insignificance the combined US EU Aussie and other developed nations bailout money.

But even so at the small end it is people who will take risks we also need to rekindle and lead economies back being confidence at local levels.I am still convinced of the early advice I got to follow the money. But to do that we actually need people now with a combination of a sense economic reality, due diligence disciplines and sharp entrepreneurial skills, to be bullish more than ever as the balance of economic forces change in readiness for a potentially quite different recovery over considerable time.

The trick is now how do we get that under control and help keep business out of more trouble without selling off the farm. And to keep the money flow moving that makes it all work.

CFO’s need to look hard at this now to survive, while all this shakes out.

For business operators, CFO’s and investors alike there is clearly no simple or single answer for sure.

How is Managing Risk a vital CFO role?

A guarantee of survival in 2009, is not necessarily a strong order book. The risk it brings can tear the heart out of a business. CFO’s work is not just about managing cash and costs. It is also to get business through tough times.

Equally involving is working with the front line to give them confidence that new and recurring business will be worthwhile. CFO’s must now spend quality time on risk management planning.

Large orders can be a concern with things like exchange rates and supply uncertain. Trying to get a long range view on these is not easy to ensure that margin isn’t lost on volatile currencies or delays.  CFO’s need to be assertively active to help moderate customers and suppliers, who have become intolerant of even the most reasoned arguments.

Business Credit indemnity is also tighter and risks have now shifted. Insurers are rejecting applications as they press for more information, and then charge for re-submissions. Additional guarantees are also being demanded for deliveries schedules keep within to insured limits.  As a result the CFO’s finance teams are required to provide increasing support for sales and purchasing functions.

With Bankers now high risk attentive, facilities and covenants administration vigilance is crucial.  Breaches or tardiness, even just on reporting timeliness, could mean that life line facilities could be withdrawn. At minimum, this may give bankers an excuse to re-price.

Additional facilities for acquisitions or investments will most likely be priced higher, so CFO’s should be sure to shop around and give thought to planning other financing options. They should also beware of “restructuring” advisers whose motivation is getting administration fees.

The insurance market is also more difficult. Underwriters are insisting on more information. Reverting to checking amalgamations of cover is being used for a pricing edge. Things like risk points on product liability between manufacturer and distributor are being painstakingly scrutinized. And previous cursory checks are now being strengthened or extended to things such as professional indemnity cover of contracted technical experts.

Looking just at risks with customers and taking cover on getting paid is also now not enough. It is equally as important to assess suppliers to ensure supply chain integrity. In doing this credit information may be out of date, so monitoring submission dates, utilizing associations and networks, check-listings and swapping information with colleagues can reduce risks of the unexpected.

In summary the CFO has an onerous task to ensure future financial viability of the company’s ongoing business. A duty of care to involve all C-Level executives in a regular  run through of the business risk profile and mitigation strategies.  Vital for this in business now  is well understood assessment processes, transparent & well monitored metrics and an embedded always-alert risk management culture.