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These days, no corporation is an island. Whether a third-party partner is a supplier, a component assembler, a back-office service center, or a local distributor, business relationships are becoming more integrated---to the point where previously hard and fast lines between companies become blurred and partners essentially are viewed as extensions of the company itself. But, while more and closer relationships with third parties can introduce a company to a new world of opportunities, they also expose the company to a new world of risks. This research among finance, IT, and line-of-business executives at U.S. manufacturing firms and related businesses reveals broad consensus among executives on the business value of third-party relationships, and sheds light on the approaches manufacturers are taking to manage the resultant risk.