If you have a minute, it's worth reading a short Purchasing article that mentions how materials management skills have been overlooked by many procurement organizations of late. Indeed, in the rush to create "strategic supply chains" companies have "forgotten how important purchasing pros with materials management skills are to a company's bottom line,” the article argues. Specifically, Purchasing attributes the rising demand for such skills to the need to better manage lead-times for raw materials "such as steel and copper as well as some petroleum-based products." The good news is that materials management is a skill-set that is easy to identify and hire-for (even if talent is somewhat limited in supply). And given the number of automotive suppliers forecast to go bankrupt in North America, other industries should have lots of talent to poach from. Or perhaps they could just wait to peel the carcasses of veteran materials managers off of Detroit's unemployment rolls.