Grand Theft PowerPoint

After a whirlwind few days down in Boca, I woke up early this morning after returning home last night from Ariba LIVE to prepare for a presentation today at DC Expo, a supply chain conference being held at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago. I'm moving off my usual material in favor of offering up a more operational discussion on global sourcing, logistics and risk management issues. The best thing of all about this presentation is that I did not even have to write it myself. Nor is it one that my advisory firm, Azul Partners, wrote as a private label thought leadership deck for a client (something it has long been rumored we do on occasion).

Nope, this presentation is going to be nearly 100% pilfered from my wife's speaking material. Lisa Reisman, as some of you might know, co-founded and runs the US operations for Aptium Global, a boutique consulting and direct materials advisory firm which happens to share office space, a fabulous espresso machine and collaborative banter with my rag-tag operation.

Given that I share an office with her and that we've collaborated on dozens of projects and probably a couple hundred whitepapers and columns over the years, I've determined that either she's a true expert on global sourcing, lean sourcing and related trade issues, or she’s a phenomenal bull-&*T artist. It’s one or the other, and given that I've been married to her for years and I can't tell the difference, my guess is that she knows what she’s talking about. Or I'm a stupid husband (which is entirely possible).

So what are some of the stolen goodies I'll be discussing? In the presentation, I'm planning on talking about the hidden operational and risk elements of global sourcing, focusing especially on logistical and supply chain elements that should factor into every company's offshore decision making. Borrowing from Aptium's methodology, I'll also talk about how companies can combine lean and strategic sourcing elements together to effectively manage global sourcing programs to deliver expected results and savings while reducing supply risk. What's fun as I look at this material and familiarize myself with it as a speaker -- I’ve read it and heard it a million times, but never actually presented it myself -- is how deep in the subject matter it is for most procurement practitioners who often know as little about such areas as Lean, Six Sigma and global trade as John Edwards knows about free trade and employer rights.

Unfortunately, far too few organizations are doing enough to bridge the skills gap to create integrated teams that are equipped to not only create the right global sourcing and logistics strategies, but to manage such programs on an ongoing basis. But as leading global sourcing organizations like Emerson and IBM have learned over the years, it's precisely the integration of these multiple disciplines and skill sets that is required to succeed and pull ahead of the competition. If you're curious to see some of the material I'm presenting, drop Lisa a line (lreisman[@]aptiumglobal[Dot]com). I don't want to hand out her firm's IP without permission lest I get slapped with lawsuit, or worse, served with divorce papers, but I'm sure she'll be happy to tell you more about some of their latest thinking on the subject if you reach out to her directly.

Jason Busch

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