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executive education

Procurement/Supply Chain Risk in Trinidad and Tobago: A case of life and Death?

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With African swine fever wiping out a quarter of the world’s pigs, primarily in China, doctors and drug makers around the world are sounding the alarm about a possible prolonged shortage of heparin, a critically important blood thinner. The drug, derived from pig intestines, is widely used to treat heart attacks and prevent deadly blood clots. China has been the primary source of the medicine, and the crisis there highlights a need to develop alternate supplies.  

So why was this “alternate supply” not identified (maybe as a “what if” scenario?) before this problem occurred?

What’s the supply like now? 

A U.S. congressional committee asked the Food and Drug Administration in July to monitor heparin supplies, noting a six-to-nine-month lag time before a shortage could affect the U.S. market. The agency said in October that there had been no impact. That might be because the outbreak caused a pig-killing frenzy that initially yielded plenty of heparin. However, as the number of hogs slaughtered in China falls, so too will the volume of the raw material. Drugmakers including Germany’s Fresenius SE and South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. have mentioned shortages linked to rising prices. Fresenius’s Kabi unit told its U.S. customers in July that it put heparin on a protective allocation list due to a potential shortage. Massachusetts General Hospital warned in August of an impending global shortage; the chief of its emergency preparedness team said stock levels were so low at one point that the Boston center was two weeks away from having to cancel lifesaving cardiac surgery.  (Bloomberg News)

Is the Ministry of Health monitoring this?

How effective are your procurement risk assessments?

Venezuela: Financial, Operational, Culture, Political Risk Eventuated

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Eighteen months ago I asked the following question of an executive working in the financial sector and a very senior police officer:

Are you guys considering hiring Bi-lingual employees?

I would respectfully submit that Trinidad and Tobago should have been more prepared to treat with what has been happening over the last 2 weeks (e.g. registration of Venezuelans), if the decision makers were employing more risk based decision making such as: scenario planning/analysis and being more proactive and anticipatory.

One did not need a “crystal ball” to see what the possible scenarios and risks would have been and still is, arising out of the Venezuelan crisis.

Having said that, there are opportunities in any given crisis. The following questions therefore arises:

  • Have you and your institution conducted a risk and opportunity assessment on Venezuela and the Venezuelan migration?
  • Do you need to revisit/update our strategic plans?
  • What about your risk profile/risk appetite?
  • Have you met with your risk teams to chat about any NEW risk and opportunities around financial risk, legal, compliance, operational risk, HSE, demand risk, culture risk, disaster recovery and BCP?
  • What about our social services, not immediately but one year from now?

Trinidad and Tobago and by extension your organization has been/will be disrupted. A determination must now be made as to what is the extent of this disruption and measure/quantify both the constructive disruption element and the negative disruptive potential. 

The velocity and complexity of the risks we are exposed to is rising. How prepared are you ?

Ken Hackshaw – Lead Faculty for Professional Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management. Find out more about our Professional Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management at 868-645-6700 ext. 367

How safe is your IT Infrastructure?

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“So there is no reason for us to be overly concerned about an intentional attack on data.” National Security Minister Stuart Young

I respectfully disagree with the Honorable Minister: Given these “little events” there is reason to have some concern with respect to your data.

  • Have your organization ever conducted threat and vulnerability assessments of your facility, infrastructure and operations inclusive of your information technology systems?
  • How much due diligence have you done on the vendor you engaged for your IT systems?
  • How secure are the systems/applications said vendor(s) are using ?
  • And is your BCP  tested?

Cyber security, like risk management are buzzwords that are bandied about and discussed but apparently not actioned.

A riddle for you:

There are five executives in a meeting discussing cyber security. 3 of them have decided to enhance their IT security. How many have not enhanced their IT security?,,,,,,,,,,NONE

Decisions and agreements if not operationalized/implemented is just that….decisions and agreements. 

Decisions must be followed by actions.

The recent “infiltration” or hacking of the websites of state entities demonstrate, in my humble opinion, that there are players out there that have the capability to attack the technology infrastructure of institutions in Trinidad and Tobago, and if one extrapolates these events, there is nothing that prevents them from doing or attempting to do the same to organizations in the private sector. That said, the assumption maybe that these private organizations have MORE integrated IT security employed to protect themselves than the public sector. And many do.

In the last 3 months some US cities , like Baltimore and Albany (NY), where Ransomware was employed by hackers, totally shut down many critical sites that serves the public and  these cities were asked to pay a “ransom” to be allowed to regain access to their systems. Are we there yet? (Ransomware attacks use malware to lock out users unless the hackers get paid)

Is your organization sleepwalking into one crisis after another?

Let’s be careful out there.

Ken Hackshaw – Lead Faculty for Professional Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management. For more information on this professional certificate 868-645-6700 ext. 367

UWI – ALJGSB launches Not – for – Profit Programme in collaboration with JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II

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The UWI – ALJGSB and the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II welcomed the first cohort of participants into the Professional Certificate in Not – for – Profit Management programme which commenced on 22nd June 2019. A first of its kind in the region, the programme will equip participants will the skills and tools to navigate a sector that is demanding more professionalism, greater transparency, increased financial accountability, and a growing focus on measuring results. The JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II awarded five (5) scholarships for tuition into this intake of the programme. This 6-month programme will run once annually.

 

 

For more information on this programme contact our Executive Education team at 645-6700 ext. 286 or email: openenrolment@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

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