I'm currently sitting in a lunch with a number of procurement executives, blogging from a quiet corner. This follows probably a dozen or so conversations with procurement VPs and CPOs in the past day. What's on everyone's mind should not come as a surprise. But what they’re doing about it (or not) might. Perhaps most important, everyone is worried about the stability of their supply base in the current credit markets. But few are making investments in supplier risk management outside of basic performance management and periodic (e.g., quarterly, yearly) financial risk monitoring -- if that. Is a perfect storm brewing that will lead to supply disruptions in the coming weeks and months based on a lack of investment in this area? I’ll leave you to be the judge. Equally as important on the minds of the executives I’ve spoken with is how best to balance reduced demand with suppliers that are increasingly asking for price increases as key commodities rise and fall. The third theme on everyone's mind is creative approaches to cost savings. Going after new categories of spend; tying contract management into the compliance process; downstream invoicing and supply chain finance; hedging key commodities -- these are all examples of how some executives are taking action to combat uncertainty and economic doom and gloom.
- Jason Busch