Manufacturing Insights' Bob Ferrari is headed back to the vendor world. But the analyst firm's loss is a vendor's gain. When Bob was at MI, he recently authored a great survey of the strategic sourcing and global supply landscape which I summarized in an earlier post here. In his new role, Bob will head up strategy and marketing for Optiant, a supply chain management software provider that used to focus on multi-echelon modeling and optimization but has since branched out into other areas. From what I've heard through the grapevine in recent years, the vendor is in somewhat of a turn around situation, having gone through significant restructuring and layoffs in 2005 and 2006. But if anyone can right the product and marketing ship from a customer-driven perspective, it's Bob. Incidentally, supply chain risk guru Jim Lawton (currently GM of supply management for D&B and Open Ratings) held Bob's new job at Optiant many years ago when the vendor got started in Slumerville's Davis Square.