Import vs. Supply Risk Tsars

Earlier this fall, Supply and Demand Chain Executive featured a guest column that suggests companies engaged in global sourcing activity should create an "import czar position". This executive would essentially serve as "a chief imports officer who can oversee global sourcing." According to the article, because "most companies lack a central figure to 'reign' over global operations -- it's all about accountability, coordination and the need to focus internally to ensure that someone is keeping watch over the shop." While I'm in favor of such a role, I'm not sure if "Import Czar" is necessarily the right title or point of reference. Part of the reason is that traditional import roles within companies are focused on issues of Customs Compliance. Instead, what many companies need is a sourcing and supply chain expert -- with significant experience in all aspects of global trade, quality and supplier performance management -- to serve as a supply risk champion inside their organizations. Why? In my view, risk can be local as much as global. And supply risk management goes beyond just looking at the symptoms of financial, quality and operational supplier breakdowns. Ideally, it's about treating the patient before they get sick.

Jason Busch

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