Case Study – NatureCare
NatureCare Products is an Australian company based in Brisbane. The company commenced
business in 1996 and manufactures and eco-friendly, high quality beauty skin care products. The
business was established to cater for a growing demand for skin products that contain eco-friendly
and natural ingredients. There is also an emphasis on eco-friendly packaging.
The company sells its products in health food shops across the country, as well as on-line through its
own web site. The company targets customers that want high quality, eco-friendly products. Market
research and NatureCare’s basic customer database has identified that around 70% of customers are
professional women aged 25 to 55.
The company currently has a small range of products that include:
● Cleansing creams to soothe skin during make-up removal. Primary ingredients include Shea
butter to nourish the skin and plants extracts that are also rich in essential oils with regenerating
and anti-inflammatory properties. This product will be for delicate and mature skins and could
also be used as a baby cream.
● Multi Protection Day Moisturizing Creams for dry to normal skin types that help protect the
skin during the day and includes Shea butter and extracts from fragile green algae that provides
hydrating and protective properties.
● Regenerating facial scrub to clean off dead skin cells to promote regeneration of healthy new
cells. This product will be used for most skin types.
The strategic objectives of the company are to increase market share by 20% At a recent board
meeting the two company shareholders and the CEO discussed options for expanding the business
and have decided to establish a chain of retail outlets in central Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne
within the next six months. The CEO has confirmed that the banks are willing to loan 70% of the
capital required and the shareholders have committed to finding the remaining 30%.
The company is also currently developing more products focusing on a range of products to meet
particular skin needs rather than a one-size fits all. The new products are timed to be ready for sale at
the same time as the opening of the new retail outlets. Suppliers (based in China, Philippines and
New Zealand) have all indicated their ability to supply and fill additional orders.
Currently the company employs the following staff: Accounts Manager, Marketing Manager, Marketing
Assistant, Sales Manager, four customer service representatives, Office Manager, Administration
Assistant, Operations Manager, Financial manager, Payroll administrator, Finance assistant (accounts
payable and receivable etc.) as well as the CEO and two shareholders as indicated above.
As the Finance manager, the CEO has asked you to investigate the risks associated with this venture,
with a particular focus on financial activities performed by the finance team. General activities and
responsibilities of the finance team include payroll, banking, accounts payable (supplier payments),
account receivable (customer receipts) and statutory compliance. Currently, due to the small size of
the business, IT falls within the responsibility of the finance team but does not need to be assessed
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Due to the quick timeframe allocated to establish the retail outlets, the CEO has asked all managers
and the administration assistant to prioritise any requests you (Financial manager) make regarding
the risk management task. The risk management process budget has made a $20 000 provision for a
technology advancement (e.g. RPA) but any other spending should be kept to a minimum. The
customer service representatives frequently move on to other opportunities and need to be recruited
and replaced on a regular basis.
The company currently has a Risk Management Policy and Procedures in place that incorporates the
AS/NZS ISO31000:2018 Risk Management Principles and Guidelines.
Information relevant to identify risks
At a team meeting, the Finance manager met with the payroll officer and finance administrator.
Together they identified risks and associated outcomes.
The finance administrator was concerned that the theft of stock or cash from retail outlets would result
in cashflow problems and criminal charges (negative publicity). A few of the treatment alternatives
discussed included security cameras, using well referenced staff, doing frequent audits of the storage
room and taking out insurance.
The payroll officer was mostly worried about an increase in the workload and wandered whether more
staff should be employed.
The Finance manager had recently attended a professional development training session about using
automated processes to do mundane finance related tasks (RPA). As such, he mentioned that due to
an increased workload and demand on the finance staff, there would be incorrect invoicing of
suppliers. This would result in delayed payment and weakening of the supplier relationship and may
affect staff retention and work performance. Treatment alternatives that were discussed included to
train and reward staff and to automate processes where necessary.
The payroll officer and finance administrator requested that priority be given to the increased work
load on the finance team.
Information relevant to assessing the risks
At the same meeting (to identify risks), the finance manager asked the team to estimate the likelihood
and impact (severity) of each risk:
|Finance Manager||Payroll officer||Finance
|Theft of stock or
cash from retail
|2||3 1||2 2||2|
|1 1 2 1 2 1|
of new suppliers
|4 2 2 2 1 2|
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on payroll and
Information relevant to monitoring and evaluating the risk management
NatureCare stores were opened in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne within the six months requested
by the CEO and the stores have been operating for three months.
An invoicing RPA system was implemented in the finance department one month after stores opened.
There have been no invoicing issues since it was implemented. Implementation of the system cost
After stores have opened and have been operating for three months, incidents recorded showed that
there had been three instances of store room theft across three stores. The CEO has raised concerns
that the risk management process did not adequately control this risk.
The finance administrator had taken seven days of sick leave since the implementation of RPA 2
months before (as opposed to an average of 1 per month in the past). When questioned about the
leave, the finance administrator admitted to feeling overwhelmed by the new technology.
The operations manager mentioned at a recent executive team meeting that one of the regular
container suppliers had merged with another company and would no longer be producing the
containers NatureCare ordered.
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Risk Management Policy and Procedures
To provide information and guidance on Risk Management. This Policy applies to all NatureCare
The following principles form the foundation of the NatureCare Products Risk Management Policy and
● A commitment to implement risk management effectively:
o NatureCare Products is committed to managing and minimising risk. This will be done by
identifying, analysing, evaluating and treating risk exposure that may impact on NatureCare
Products achieving its objectives and/or the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.
o NatureCare Products will incorporate risk management into its planning and
decision-making processes and it must also be included as a consideration in operational
planning as a delegated line management responsibility.
o NatureCare Products staff must implement risk management according to relevant
legislative requirements and appropriate risk management standards.
● A commitment to training and knowledge development in the area of risk management:
o NatureCare Products is committed to ensuring that all staff, particularly those with
management, advisory and decision-making responsibilities, obtain a sound understanding
of the principles of risk management and the requisite skills to implement risk management
● A commitment to monitor performance and review progress in risk management:
o NatureCare Products will regularly monitor and review the progress being made in
developing an appropriate culture of risk management and the effective implementation of
risk management strategies throughout the organisation as a basis for continuous
Risk must first and foremost be managed at the corporate level as part of the NatureCare Products
good governance and corporate management processes. Risk management is considered an integral
part of all management and decision-making functions within NatureCare Products. The responsibility
for the identification of risk and the implementation of control strategies and follow up remains a
delegated line management responsibility. All stakeholders have a significant role in the management
of risk. This role may range from initially identifying and reporting risks associated with their own jobs
to participation in the risk management process.
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Aims and Objectives
● NatureCare Products aims to integrate risk management into the management culture of
NatureCare Products and foster an environment where staff assume responsibility for managing
● To secure its commitment to implement risk management effectively, NatureCare Products aims
to implement risk management across all aspects of NatureCare Products in accordance with
best practice guidelines.
● To secure its commitment to training and knowledge development in the area of risk
management, NatureCare Products aims to ensure that performance in risk management is a
consideration in the NatureCare Products’ performance management systems and other
stakeholders have access to appropriate information, training and other development
opportunities in the area of risk management.
● To secure its commitment to monitoring performance and reviewing progress, NatureCare
Products aims to ensure that appropriate monitoring, review and reporting processes are in place
in the area of risk management.
● The objectives of risk management are to:
o provide a structured basis for strategic, tactical and operational planning across NatureCare
Products, enhancing its governance and corporate management processes;
o enable NatureCare Products to effectively discharge its statutory and legislative financial
o provide a practical framework for managers to assess risks inherent in the decisions they
o assist and motivate decision makers, at all levels, to make good and proactive management
decisions that do not expose NatureCare Products to unacceptable levels of risk of
unfavourable events occurring which adversely impact on the attainment of organisational
o encourage and commit decision makers to identify sound business opportunities that will
benefit NatureCare Products without exposing the company to unacceptable levels of risk;
o minimise the risks of not identifying sound business opportunities
o protect NatureCare Products from unacceptable costs or losses associated with its
operations, while safeguarding its resources: its people, finance, property and reputation
o assist NatureCare Products in achieving its strategic objectives
o create an environment where all staff assume responsibility for risk management
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Risk management is a whole of Organisation Process. It must first and foremost be managed at the
corporate level as part of NatureCare Products’ good governance and corporate management
processes. This process, coordinated and facilitated by the CEO, will involve the following key steps:
● an annual risk identification exercise undertaken by the CEO. This involves assessment of the
consequence and likelihood of risk, the development and/or review of individual risk management
plans for the risks identified which exceed the NatureCare Products ‘s defined acceptable risks
● wherever practicable, the inclusion of a Risk Management Assessment for all business activities
● the incorporation of risk management into strategic planning, as well as operational and resource
management planning processes
● ensure risk management processes are incorporated into the quality assurance and improvement
systems of NatureCare Products
● clearly define and document escalation procedures for risk management
● ensure a consistency in approach of responses to the same risk by different sections of
● test documented risk management procedures at appropriate intervals.
Risk management is a delegated line management responsibility. It is the responsibility of all line
managers to continually monitor their areas of responsibility to ensure that risks are identified and
managed. Line managers should ensure that a contribution is made to NatureCare Products risk
management process, on behalf of their areas of responsibility, that identifies risks at all levels.
The sharing of documented responses to risks and knowledge of risk management principles and
procedures will be fostered between line managers to ensure consistency across the NatureCare
On an annual basis, line managers should review all activities to ensure that any unacceptable risk
exposures are identified and managed at an appropriate level. All operational sections will be required
to report on risk management as part of the NatureCare Products ‘s annual operational and resource
Each employee or other stakeholder throughout NatureCare Products has a role in the risk
management process and is responsible for actively participating in the risk management process as
appropriate to their position within the organisation.
In addition to the risks that already exist, NatureCare Products is continually exposed to new risks,
particularly from the introduction of new activities.
New risks should be incorporated into the initial planning and assessment processes conducted prior
to undertaking the activity and, subsequently, into the annual risk management assessment at the
appropriate level(s) of activity and management. A risk management plan must then be developed.
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The risk management process is a collaborative process whereby all managers and supervisors
identify risks and then meet to discuss and evaluate risks.
To identify risks, the following questions must be considered:
● Threats or opportunities in the current economic climate that may impact on the business area?
● What could go wrong with the expansion in regard to the business area?
● What issues relevant business area could prevent the expansion from occurring?
● What is the worst-case scenario in terms of the business area and the expansion?
The principles of risk management shall be applied to all areas of risk exposure, insurable and
non-insurable, and shall include, but not be limited to the following areas:
|Insurable Risks||Non-Insurable Risks|
|● Insurable workplace health and safety risks
● Insurable fraud and corruption prevention
● Unauthorised use of resources which
represent an insurable risk
● Reputation and image as an insurable risk
● Fire prevention measures and security
● Property loss and damage
● Computer security
● Professional negligence
● Other liability exposures
● Legal liability
|● Non-insurable workplace health and safety
● Non-insurable fraud and corruption
● Unauthorised use of resources which
represent a non-insurable risk
● Reputation and image as a non-insurable
● Crisis contingency planning and disaster
● Accounting controls that are not cost
● Loss of key staff and intellectual property
● Management system inadequacies and poor
● Failure or disruption of a major income
source or investment
For all risks the business elects to manage, the likelihood of each risk occurring must be estimated.
Risk likelihood must be calculated by taking the average of at least two stakeholder estimations. This
must be done using the following scale:
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Very likely 4
Similarly, the risk impact must be calculated by taking the average of at least two stakeholder
estimations using the following scale:
Risk will be prioritised using the risk matrix:
Extreme and high risks should receive high priority.
Moderate risks should receive medium priority.
Low and very low risks should receive low priority.
The CEO will regularly monitor and review the progress being made in developing an appropriate
culture of risk management and the effective implementation of risk management strategies
throughout the organisation.
The CEO will ensure that, through its monitoring, review and reporting functions, NatureCare Products
maintains a consistent approach to its assessment of acceptable risk.
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Each stage of the risk management process shall be appropriately documented. The extent of
documentation required is dependent on the nature of the risk. Documentation will be controlled, and
become part of an auditable quality management process. Risk registers must contain:
● potential outcomes
● calculated risk
A representation and compliance statement should be provided by each manager as formal
acknowledgement of their responsibility to comply with risk management policies and procedures.
Each employee should have included in their Position Description a responsibility for risk
management, and Annual Performance Appraisals should include an appropriate assessment thereof.
Management shall ensure that staff have available to them appropriate information and training
opportunities in risk management as appropriate to their position and role within NatureCare Products.
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Internal Communication Policy and Procedures
NatureCare aims to enhance and streamline communications (internal and external) to reinforce the
vision and strategic priorities. As such, we will continue to develop and trial new communication
platforms, channels, and tools to improve information sharing and collaboration between all staff
This policy is to be implemented in a way that ensures compliance with relevant legislative
requirements and standards of best practice.
NatureCare expects that staff will use the channels and for business purposes only and comply with
all relevant policies and procedures, the Code of Conduct.
NatureCare has a number of internal communication channels available, including:
|Project or action
|All plans should be communicated verbally to those responsible for steps in
the plan. Action plans must be updated to show completion of each
action/process or task.
|Information relevant to all line managers should be discussed at the weekly
executive team meeting and a summary report of the issue provided to
each line manager. (If urgent, an email should be sent instead).
|Team meetings||Information relevant to a specific team should be discussed at the weekly
team meeting (If urgent, an email should be sent or a telephone call made
|Staff bulletin||This contains Information from the executive to staff which is important and
relevant to their interests, including training, employment vacancies and
Contributions for the Staff Bulletin must be approved in advance by the
contributor’s relevant manager before being sent to the communications
officer for review and inclusion.
|Staff surveys||These are used to gather information and feedback from all staff members.
Surveys should be sent to staff via email link.
|NatureCare intranet||The intranet provides important information for staff in an easily accessible
The intranet is to be used for conveying information which is important and
relevant from the executive team to staff. It is the responsibility of the
person contributing the content to ensure the content is factually correct. All
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|contributions must be approved in advance by the contributor’s relevant
|These may be used by groups of staff to collaborate and communicate on
projects online (e.g. to share and comment on work-related ideas, news
and activities). Personal use of these platforms may not be used during
work hours. Use of these networks must comply with the Social Media
|All Staff emails||Emails are used for messages to and between staff. Staff are required to
read all their work-related emails.
|Email distribution lists may only be used by the executive team and should
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Procurement Policy and Procedures
This policy outlines how NatureCare manages its purchasing activities to maximise value, minimise
cost and support company strategies.
The policy applies to all employees who have the delegated authority to procure goods, services
and/or works on behalf of the company.
For the purpose of this Policy, the term supplier includes all suppliers, contractors and consultants
engaged to provide goods, services and/or works to the company.
● The procurement of goods, services and/or works must be consistent with the Health and Safety
● All procurement activities must take into consideration the environmental impact and value for
money over the whole-of-life of the goods and/or services.
● Consideration needs to be given to ongoing operational costs including the use of water and
energy, greenhouse performance, disposal, recyclability and other relevant factors.
● CEO holds the overall responsibility for procurement, including compliance and drives business
initiatives that help manage risk, control optimal spend, achieve vendor consolidation and cost
● The authority to approve expenditure must be in accordance with the company’s Delegation and
Sub-Delegation of Authority and limited to the cost centres and/or activities within control of the
● Procurement activities should be delivered or overseen by the position or Business Unit with the
appropriate expertise in that field.
● Employees should first check if the goods and/or services can be provided through one of the
company’s current preferred or contracted suppliers, or a supplier that has already been set up to
do business with the company.
● For one-off or simple price-based purchases with a supplier, credit cards are a low cost and
efficient means of purchasing, rather than setting up a new supplier in the finance system.
Employees should confirm with the supplier that a credit card is an acceptable method of
payment, prior to committing the company to the purchase.
● The aggregate spend over the year should be considered – if the procurement is for repeated
volumes, a fixed term contract should be negotiated to secure favourable price, service and
conditions over an extended term.
● Records that are created or received during the procurement process should be maintained in
line with the company’s current document and records management practices and systems.
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● Sound judgement and discretion should be exercised in determining the most appropriate
● The purchase value will determine the bidding process:
|Value||<$2000||$2000 – $5000||$5000 –
|Written quote||More than one
|3 or more
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