A Corporate Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management Plan for Riordan Manufacturing
Riordan Manufacturing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fortune 1000 company Riordan Industries, and is engaged in the manufacturing of a variety of finished plastic goods and parts for use in other finished products that the company as been contracted to provide. The company has been highly successful utilizing a global network of manufacturing and distribution to maximize profitability by reducing labor costs and diversifying its product offerings, but this international exposure also places certain legal constraints and responsibilities on the company that must be accounted for in Riordan Manufacturing's corporate compliance plan, which is the primary focus of the following paper.
In order to develop this corporate compliance plan, however, some background information on the company is necessary to determine organizational structure and culture, and also to develop a corporate compliance plan that is in keeping both with ethical and legal requirements and with the general operations and communications structures in existence in Riordan Manufacturing. Started as Riordan Plastics by a chemist, Dr. Riordan, in 1991, within a year venture capital had been obtained that allowed for the acquisition of first one then two American plants, and in 2000 a factory was opened in China that took over the production of plastic fan blades from the Pontiac, MI facility, which was itself retooled for the production of custom-ordered plastic parts in smaller batches.
The company remains highly committed to its beginnings as a research and development powerhouse, and is still the industry leader in this area; careful quality control that exceeds ISO 9000 standards and adheres to Six Sigma methodologies enables them to maintain a mindset of providing solutions to their customers rather than adding to their challenges. This direct and unequivocal perspective on customer relations is an indicator of how Riordan Manufacturing does business -- it sees its functions and its challenges clearly and strives to tackle them head on and with an eye towards achieving the best possible returns it can. This same commitment to quality, perseverance, and providing pre-emptive and loyalty-inspiring services will be carried into Riordan's corporate compliance plan and the direct actions it takes to meet and exceed its ethical requirements.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is now mandated by many court systems prior to and litigation between parties (HG 2010). ADR methods are also seen as preferable to Riordan as they are more cost-effective, lower-profile, and quite fair and appropriate methods of resolving a number of disputes (HG 2010). All internal matters will be presented first to an ethics and conduct board made up of rotating members from various departments and levels within the company; votes will be cast anonymously and decisions delivered after panel discussions. For external disputes, including patent infringement accusations by or against competitors, arbitration will be attempted before litigation.
Enterprise and Product Liability
As a firm dedicated to the quality of its products and the innovative and patented processes used to produce these products, Riordan Manufacturing proudly stands behind all of its products and materials and each division accepts full liability for the failure of its components. Any incident that results from a failure of one of these components should be brought to the attention of any company representative as soon as possible. Internal guidelines for handling potential issues in manufacturing are well-established and quite efficient. Likewise, the enterprise as a whole strives to maintain a high degree of regard for its community and the individuals it serves in all of its actions, and any damages that are the direct result of enterprise actions will be recompensed as required by law and basic ethical principles.
Due to the global nature of Riordan Manufacturing's operations and distribution network, issues of international law are of great importance to Riordan Manufacturing. The firm's standing contract with the law offices of Litteral & Finkel, which has represented Riordan Manufacturing since its inception and has offices throughout the world, will serve the company well in this regard. A biennial review of procedures and contracts by Riordan's legal team will also ensure ongoing compliance with all national and international laws, standards, and regulations. Maintaining close control of legal adherence is in keeping with the general Sis Sigma practices of the company in its operations.
Tangible and Intellectual Property
An area of major concern for Riordan Manufacturing especially now that the organization has begun to engage in international manufacturing operations is the protection of its patented plastic materials and manufacturing processes which constitute both tangible and intellectual properties. Many firms that rely heavily on internal research and development have been hesitant to set up operations in China due to the country's track record with intellectual property misuse and avoidance of legal recourse (Lee & Mansfield 1996). Though direct investment in china has grown significantly with China's own growth, Riordan Manufacturing will take steps to ensure that its own processes and only its own processes are utilized in all of its manufacturing facilities and that its processes are not used elsewhere.
Legal Forms of Business
Riordan Manufacturing is a publicly traded corporate entity incorporated within the United States of America and wholly owns its manufacturing facilities and the processes and equipment used therein. As such, all of the company's actions are governed by the laws concerning its incorporation and the corporate bylaws and governance plan put into place and maintained by the Board of Directors. Riordan Manufacturing does have contracts for some outside vendors including IT support for its Chinese operations that provide routine in-house services; Riordan assumes no legal or civil liability for any of the operations of its vendors and maintains its own legal structure as an independent corporate entity.
Riordan Manufacturing is governed by a fairly standard set of bylaws and a Board of Directors elected by shareholders with a Chairman of the Board elected by the other Board members. This is typical of corporations and as such is fundamentally compliant with all laws and regulations concerning corporations in the United States and internationally. In order to maintain control over operations and ensure that all practices and procedures at Riordan Manufacturing comply with bylaws and other regulations, the same quality control measures employed in manufacturing operations will be applied to management and personnel through the company's system of performance reviews and its ongoing legal assessments.
Enterprise Risk Management
There are four identified areas of organizational objective in enterprise risk management: strategic, operations, reporting, and compliance (COSO 2004). Strategic objectives include those that support the company's overall missions; for Riordan, maintaining very strict standards of quality control serves the company's interests and also helps to mitigate risks to other shareholders in its ongoing assurance for security and profitability (COSO 2004). Selective expansion that maintains a high level of centralized control will ensure ongoing strategic risk management during the company's continuing growth phase, which is likely to ramp up significantly in the coming decade due to the expected recovery and reinvigorated growth of the global economic system following the recent recession.
Given the company's manufacturing focus, an efficient use of raw materials is essential to the company's continued success. The operational risks associated with any enterprise, such as resource use efficiency, comprise the second class of objectives in enterprise risk management and are a major concern for Riordan Manufacturing (COSO 2004). The company must also strive to ensure that its fixed cost items are also utilized as efficiently as possible in order to maintain the necessary revenue for continued innovation and growth (COSO 2004). Manufacturing facilities will be engaged in round-the-clock operations when demand is of a sufficient quantity to warrant such operations, and retooling to offer a wider variety of products and/or a consolidation of manufacturing processes in current manufacturing facilities will be considered where demand is not sufficient for current product outputs.
Reporting objectives have grown increasingly complex and become exponentially more scrutinized over the past decade following first the spate of corporate scandals in the first years of the millennia and the more recent failures in the worldwide financial system precipitated largely by United States banking institutions (COSO 2004). Independent audits, potentially from even multiple sources, can be an excellent way of minimizing reporting error risk and/or deliberate misrepresentation or outright fraud (COSO 2004). Close scrutiny of all reported documents and figures by corporate officers as well as members of the Board in independent reviews will also help to minimize risk exposure in this area and ensure the quality and integrity are maintained in Riordan Manufacturing reports.
The last area identified as a category of objectives of enterprise risk management is in one sense the most basic area of needed compliance. Ensuring that legal regulations and standards are met in all operations need not be a direct concern for Riordan Manufacturing if all ethical mandates and obligations are truly met, however, ensuring that the letter of the law is complied with must necessarily drive certain oversight and adjustment procedures within the company (COSO 2004). Through…