Industry survey

Current and future risk management challenges

During our recent event in partnership with CILT(UK), we checked the pulse of the UK industry. Find out what delegates said.

Twice a year – in spring and autumn – we offer industry events in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT(UK)) at the Mallory Court Hotel in Leamington Spa. Each autumn event is dedicated to the topic compliance and risk management, and this year’s conference in October took place for the 6th consecutive time. It was titled “Shaping up for the future – export control challenges now and beyond” and shed light on current legislation, upcoming changes, and strategies for successful export control compliance programs.

The event brought together over 50 delegates from various industry sectors, including automotive, aerospace, defense, high-tech and electronics, retail, engineering, and logistics. Our conference speakers came from government (HMRC and ECO), consultancies, industry associations, and various businesses – providing different perspectives and tangible examples for compliance obligations, processes, and programs.

Results worth sharing

Delegates’ highlights of our events always include our focus groups and panel discussions. Of particular interest this time was the focus group discussion which centered on the following questions:

  • What is currently your greatest risk in global trade management?
  • What do you consider your greatest risk in global trade management in the future?

Highly interesting exchanges arose from these two questions. I would like to use this forum to share the results so they can benefit a wider audience. As we are all gearing up for next year’s strategies and targets, it’s quite helpful to get additional market insights and to be able to benchmark own priorities in the broader scheme.

The diagrams shows the twelve key areas and top rated risks that our delegates see both in their current and future global trade management operations. Each listed risk also shows the individual breakdown into high risk, medium risk, and low risk categorizations.

Survey results
Survey results

Top three current risks

Delegates list “getting correct information from suppliers for export control or classification” as their current number one risk in global trade management (83%). This is followed by “convincing teams such as sales or warehouse staff to carry out required export control activities” with 75%. And in third place we have a tie between “getting sufficient funding for export control programs” and “training and maintaining effective compliance programs”.

I find this highly interesting because all top three listed risks – well, four, considering the tie – refer to export control compliance awareness. Looking at the many aspects of global trade security today and global governments’ efforts to combat terrorism and facilitate fair trade, it’s somewhat surprising that compliance managers obviously still struggle within and beyond their organizations to establish an understanding of the importance, relevance, and consequences of export control compliance.

Top three future risks

Looking at our delegates expectations around future risks, “unpredictable geopolitical changes” is listed in the first place with 67%, which is quite understandable considering the current state of political unrest on a global level. The second place goes to the “ability to adapt IT systems to change” (64%) and clearly shows that businesses struggle with general system landscape modernizations aimed at quickly reacting to, accommodating, and fully integrating new and increasingly changing regulatory requirements.

“Succession planning for export control” came in third and ties in closely with the reported current risks around training and further educations. In this area, awareness for the importance and potential of compliance programs must also further increase. The educational sector has made some good progress here, with more quality programs available and also tailored to full-time working professionals. My colleague Richard, for example, recently reported about a new program in his post on “New Masters in International Trade Compliance”.

I look forward to you views and comments on LinkedIn.