Over on Modern Materials Handling, John Hill shares a number of anecdotes about how supply chain projects can go wrong. In his column Avoiding Supply Chain Blunders, he suggests 13 ways how projects can head down the wrong operational path. A number of these, in particular, are useful Spend Management lessons as well. One that I especially agree with is the danger of not asking suppliers for guidance in crafting performance improvement programs. As Hill notes, "They know your short-comings better than you do." But perhaps even more important is getting to know your suppliers before starting to do business with them. Another item on his list of why supply chain projects fail is when organizations do "not perform in-depth supplier reference checks before contract award." Check out the article for yourself, and take his recommendations -- even the dirt under the fingernail ones -- to heart. They just might save a Spend Management initiative -- not to mention an operational one.