Although it doesn't quite feel like it, the recession is officially over. Is your company's supply chain ready to roll? Firms that chopped inventories face financial and reputational risk if they can't meet a surge in demand once the economy really picks up, and they likely won't get a clear signal before that happens, experts warn. Recent studies show that about 40% of businesses that experience a prolonged supply chain disruption never recover, says Linda Conrad, director of strategic business risk at Zurich Global Corporate. The credit crunch revealed that companies' best interests rely on their key suppliers staying solvent and able to ramp up quickly when orders increase. That epiphany has set off a boom in supply chain finance programs that help support suppliers rather than take advantage of the relationships, writes senior contributing editor Richard Gamble.
A holistic view is also at work as companies seek to connect to the global communications network SWIFT, and Gamble puts the spotlight on Dell's aggressive move to go live with a wide range of messages for its 600 bank accounts across the world in one fell swoop. Meanwhile, as a new wave of M&A swells, more cautious, post-crisis buyers are scrutinizing the value of intangible assets to ensure that deals meet expectations, reports senior contributing editor Russ Banham. A brighter future beckons the talented finance executives featured in Treasury & Risk's annual 40 Under 40 list. Watch the T&R Express e-newsletter for Career Insights from some of the 40 in Online Exclusives during October. This group of younger executives is ready to grow. Although no one's whistling happy days, it's definitely time to exit the bunker.