The globalization of business sourcing and outsourcing has raised the bar when it comes to supply chain risks. Nearly 75% of 110 risk managers surveyed by Marsh Inc. reported higher supply chain risk levels since 2005, while 71% reported increased costs as a result of unexpected disruptions during those years. Worse yet, not a single survey respondent judged their company "highly effective" at supply chain risk management, and just 35% said they were "moderately effective."

Within a few short years, the survey indicates, risk managers' jobs have been redefined. Greater threats resulting from increased foreign sourcing, for example, is forcing them to take on business and operational risk, such as compliance in far-away countries where there is little local oversight. "They used to focus on insurable risks, but now they must measure uninsurable operational risks as well," says Beth Enslow, senior vice president of Marsh's supply chain risk management practice and author of Marsh's new report: Stemming the Rising Tide of Supply Chain Risks.

And it's not just risk managers' whose jobs are being redefined; financial executives report they are donning yet another hat–taking on responsibility for establishing corporate-wide supply chain policies and practices. In conversations with financial vice presidents, CFOs and treasurers, Enslow says she has found many routinely placing supply chain concerns under the umbrella of enterprise risk management. "They recognize that if there is a supply chain disruption, it won't just delay deliveries and hurt income; they could wind up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal," she says.

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