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Multichannel retailer: From risk assessment to sustainable risk management

Read how Accenture helped a multichannel retailer develop a sustainable risk management program, designed to gain higher economic returns.


Accenture Risk Management consulting services works with clients to create and implement integrated risk management capabilities designed to gain higher economic returns, improve shareholder value and increase stakeholder confidence.

Accenture’s solution helped the client establish a practical, accessible program for managing risk on an ongoing basis. It also delivered extra value by focusing management’s attention on internal-process and cultural issues—areas the company hadn’t previously regarded as sources of enterprise-wide risks.

This client is a large multibillion dollar revenue retailer using multiple channels to reach customers—including the Web, mobile devices, catalogs and television. When this retail pioneer contacted Accenture for an enterprise risk assessment, the company was primarily interested in fulfilling its regulatory requirements.


The client’s risk assessment needs were straightforward: to identify primary risks; see what measures, both preventative and mitigating, were in place, and what gaps existed; and perform the assessment quickly. The team’s deep experience as industry practitioners demonstrated that Accenture not only spoke the client’s language, but also, to an extent, had stood in their shoes.

The icing on the cake was Accenture’s signature commitment to go the extra mile. Although this was to be a standard risk assessment exercise, “we told them that as long as we were studying the organization so closely—as long as we had the hood open—we’d give them advice about how to implement our recommendations,” says Ken Hooper-senior principal, Risk Management, Accenture.


The starting point for any risk management project is Accenture’s Risk Management Transformation Framework, which consists of five elements: governance, risk assessment, risk analytics, risk monitoring and reporting, and data management. The framework serves as a blueprint for assessing, building or fortifying a client’s risk management process.

Initially, the company’s project team was skeptical that Accenture could perform a comprehensive assessment, and help develop a sustainable risk management program, in a matter of a few months. But the Accenture team knew that with the client’s full cooperation in scheduling and information gathering, the stringent six-week time frame for the initial assessment, for example, was indeed feasible. Before the project’s official start, the Accenture team had already completed its review of all relevant documentation.

The team crafted a four-step project plan:

  • Researching and understanding the client’s needs and objectives

  • Reviewing and assessing the client's risk environment

  • Conducting a survey and facilitating a workshop with management to get feedback and further input from a broader group

  • Producing a report of the key results

Today, with a reconstituted committee in place and risk plans developed for all top risks, Accenture is working with the client to develop an ongoing process for risk monitoring and reporting—integrating risk management into the company’s day-to-day operations.

Where risk management was once viewed as more a matter of compliance, it has now assumed greater strategic importance. Accenture has helped this client broaden its view of the key risks that should be monitored regularly, as well as strengthened its ability to manage them. And in becoming more attuned to these risks, the company can more readily recognize its flip side—the strategic opportunities it may represent.