I enjoyed reading Lora Cecere's short take this morning: Spend Management: Fixes for Current Procurement Dilemmas (subscription required). In the piece, Lora's thesis is that, "as companies in North America and Europe shift to supply management from manufacturing as their main competency, fundamental processes are shifting as new requirements are created for managing checks and balances. While most companies are in the middle of this transition, the role of the buyer is increasing in importance." Amen. Personally, I find it very exciting that AMR Research is specifically calling out the need for Spend Management programs that go beyond the role of traditional procurement activities because of changes in the overall business environment. AMR gets this. You should too. Because, as Lora says quoting Warren Buffet, "you don't know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out." And to that I might add: even with beer goggles on, it won't be a pretty site to behold.