Top Risks for Manufacturing and Distribution Organisations in 2022 and 2031

Supply chain risk is the dominant issue for the Manufacturing and Distribution industry group in 2022 and 2031 – but there’s more

Massive disruptions in the global supply chain. Challenges in attracting and retaining talent to address needs all across the enterprise. COVID-19 variants. Cyber attacks and ransomware. Wildfires and flooding. Geopolitical tensions in specific regions and shifts on issues related to climate change. Long-overdue shifts in expectations related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Political divisiveness and gridlock. Artificial intelligence (AI), automation and other rapidly developing digital technologies. More permanent shifts to hybrid and remote work environments. Shifting customer preferences and demographics. Big data analytics.

The global marketplace is dramatically impacted by these and a host of other notable risk drivers triggering significant levels of uncertainties that make it extremely difficult for an organisation’s leaders to anticipate what risks may lie just over the horizon. Unanticipated events are unfolding at record pace, leading to massive challenges to identify the best next steps for organisations of all types and sizes, regardless of where they reside in the world. As no one is immune to uncertainty, C-suites and boards need to be vigilant in scanning the horizon for emerging issues. Because it is impossible to anticipate everything of significance that lies in the future, organisations must focus on building trust-based, resilient cultures that can pivot at the speed of change.

In this 10th annual survey, Protiviti and NC State University’s ERM Initiative report on the top risks on the minds of global boards of directors and executives in 2022 and over the next 10 years, into 2031. Our respondent group, which includes 1,453 board members and C-suite executives from around the world, provided their perspectives about the potential impact over the next 12 months and next decade of 36 risk issues across these three dimensions: 

  • Macroeconomic risks likely to affect their organisation’s growth opportunities
  • Strategic risks the organisation faces that may affect the validity of its strategy for pursuing growth opportunities
  • Operational risks that might affect key operations of the organisation in executing its strategy

Download Full Overview (5 Min. Read)

“Within the Manufacturing and Distribution industry group, the pandemic has had some unique effects that are making recovery and a return to ‘normal’ operations especially challenging. Supply chain pressures over the past year have been well-documented, yet there are related challenges that are contributing to bottlenecks in numerous interconnected areas throughout manufacturing and distribution organisations. Worker shortages, intermittent plant shutdowns amid COVID-driven peaks and valleys, logistics delays, microchip shortages, and even the more limited availability of commodities like wood have had serious ripple effects that boards and executive management continue to address. Couple this with navigating vaccination requirements in different jurisdictions, establishing hybrid work models in an industry where in-person work is frequently required, and planning and implementing Industry 4.0 transformation, it’s no surprise to see uncertainty within the industry group for 2022 and the next decade.”

-Sharon Lindstrom, Managing Director, Manufacturing and Distribution Industry Leader, Protiviti

In considering more deeply the top risks issues and challenges within the Manufacturing and Distribution industry group, there are a number of unique perspectives and insights by sub-industry that we explore in a series of commentaries from our industry leaders and subject-matter experts.

Transportation and Logistics

Nick McKeehan, global leader for the transportation and logistics group, comments on the industry’s top risks.

Pharmaceutical-Life Sciences

Keith Kawashima, global leader for the Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences group, comments on the industry’s top risks.

Industrial Products

Sharon Lindstrom, global leader for Protiviti’s Manufacturing and Distribution industry group, comments on the industry’s top risks.

Materials & Chemicals

Sharon Lindstrom, global leader for Protiviti’s Manufacturing and Distribution industry group, comments on the industry’s top risks.