I enjoyed reading AMR's Tony Friscia's recent Above the Noise column (free and no registration required, at least for now) on how -- and why -- risk is becoming a top executive topic for 2008. According to Tony, the top risk areas for 2008 will be brand reputation, technology risk, a global talent shortage, supply chain complexity and the economy. At least three of these are directly tied to Spend Management (and potentially a fourth, a global talent shortage, as well). Consider the damage to brand reputation that recalls or related quality or performance challenges can cause. I don't know anyone who could sum it up any better when Tony notes that "CEOs, boards of directors, corporate lawyers, shareholders, the government, and the public are all demanding companies take more responsibility for their actions and products. Everyone's head is on the chopping block when it comes to these issues, and heads will roll if they are not dealt with properly. Don't let it be yours." Supply chain complexity and the economy (including a falling dollar) are also risk areas that procurement and operations professionals face every day. Without question, both should be front and center when it comes to any type of Spend Management strategy.
- Jason Busch