When Viagra Viruses Attack

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What’s our rule for when Viagra viruses attack? Attack right back:

Source: Lisa Reisman/MetalMiner

Ok, so publishing a video featuring a phallic, orange, pumpkin-chomping mechanical monster can’t really be classified as an effective counterattack. But we thought we’d throw it out there anyway.

“What it the world are you writing about?” you may (rightfully) be thinking to yourself. “I came to MetalMiner to read about and perhaps gain some intelligence on the metals markets, not about Viagra viruses attacking and phallic monsters chomping on gourds.”

So for you, Dear Reader, here is the context you so desperately deserve:

Last week, the MetalMiner website was hacked by a malicious virus, whose code slyly inserted Viagra ads in tiny print at the footer of the site.

It looked like this:

The worst part: we couldn’t really tell you what it looked like firsthand, because no one at our offices was able to see the Viagra ad — in any of our web browsers — on our site! We thought it was a joke. (Clearly, it wasn’t.) One of our trusted readers brought the malicious ad to our attention, but it seemed as though they either manufactured or at least were in on the joke.

Editorially, we felt a bit helpless for a moment, as we are not innate web developers and didn’t immediately know how to a) find and b) extract the malicious code.

What Does a Viagra Virus Have to Do With Commodities?

Needless to say, crisis was averted when a) we realized the deed was done and the fallout needed to be minimized, b) we sprang into action, using all the information/intelligence we had available to us, and c) used that intelligence in taking the right steps to mitigate the effect of the virus. (“Right steps” meaning immediately deploying our trusty developer to find and extract the malicious code.)

The above process, if you’ll permit the liberal oversimplification, may be extrapolated to commodity sourcing.

Game-changing market events, or at least those that may be perceived as such — Wal-Mart’s plans to cut down on sugar and trans fats across its key food categories creating a ripple in the supply chain, for instance, or the much more recent announcement from India’s government that it intends to ban all cotton exports — will never stop happening unexpectedly. These types of variables lead to commodity price volatility.

But instead of allowing price volatility to rule over your company’s bottom line, steps must be taken to mitigate the risk. Sitting on your haunches and hoping/expecting copper alloy, steel plate or tantalum prices will settle down someday is not acceptable anymore (not that it ever was) — but arming yourself with the right data, the right intelligence and the right forecasting tools will give you the vision necessary to try and beat price volatility at the exact right time.

You’ll spend less money (said differently, you’ll lose less money) on your commodity buy, your boss won’t hate you and your company’s bottom line will thank you.

Nothin’ like a Viagra virus to bring a company’s pain into the harsh light of day.

*Don’t let unexpected events throw off your game — register to attend Commodity EDGE: Sourcing Intelligence for The New Normal today (it’s coming up quickly – March 19 and 20!)

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