In the past few weeks, I've talked to a handful of executives at vendors and service providers in the supplier and supply chain risk management arenas, none of which had a good sense of which industry analyst firms to keep in the loop. On the practitioner side, I feel the state of awareness on who to go to for advice is equally dismal. The good news is that this does not have to be the case. AMR Research, under the research leadership of Mark Hillman, is building by far the deepest supply and supplier risk management advisory practice in the industry analyst world.
Given this, if you're a services or technology vendor, keeping Mark and his colleagues in the loop should be a no-brainer. In addition, I'd also suggest you keep the vertical industry analysts across your target firms you're in the loop as well. And for practitioners, if you're looking for advice on which technologies, advisors and processes you can employ to combat supply risk, AMR should clearly be your first stop, at least for now.
At this point, it's clear AMR is out in front with their research. But Aberdeen has published a bit in the supply risk area as well, though their research is dated because their subject matter expert in the area is long gone. Indeed, Tim Minahan's original report on the subject -- I see the powers that be have removed his name from it -- practically got the sector started from an analyst perspective. Nevertheless, I suspect that the current interest in the subject -- not to mention the market to sell leads in the area -- will cause Aberdeen to get more serious about the topic in 2007 (hint, hint). Given the rising importance of supply risk management to helping companies across industries improve their operational capabilities, I would hope that Forrester, Gartner and other firms invest resources in covering the area as well. But at this point, they have no business giving advice in it, at least until they begin their research coverage.