Conference Season Begins: Catch Spend Matters Live at SIG, Procurement Leaders

We're back to the time of year where it feels like I'm hopping on planes every week, preparing speaking notes and heading to various locales for a range of conferences. Next week, I'm going down to Amelia Island in Florida (a great destination if you've never been -- none of the ticky tacky nature of the Southern part of the state) for the 2011 SIG Global Sourcing Summit. I'll be sitting on a lunchtime panel with Kirk Laughlin, Nearshore America's Founder and Editorial Director, and Jamie Liddell, Outsource Magazine's Editor. Our plan is to talk about a range of topics including the proverbial cloud, procurement's role in outsourcing, the state of the US economic rebound (and whether it's time to stop outsourcing to distant countries and focus more on U.S. or nearshore locations), outsourcing sacred cows, supplier innovation and, of course, predictions for 2011 and beyond (one of my favorite topics).

I look forward to covering the event on Spend Matters next week. SIG is an organization that's growing by leaps and bounds. They recently inked a partnership with my colleague and friend Phil Fersht, bringing his firm, HfS, into the Sourcing Interests Group mix. I'm still trying to figure out what single malt distillery Dawn purchased for Phil to convince him to come on board with this arrangement, but I'm sure we'll get the exclusive scoop on it at some point. Regardless, I've heard from numerous sources that SIG's membership base has greatly expanded in the past year, bringing on board hundreds of new individual members to various events that represent a variety of practitioner organizations and vendors. It seems that every week some provider tells me that SIG membership is expensive. But I know that most who sign up end up sticking with it. You pay for quality, I suppose.

Speaking of quality, I've always found Procurement Leaders events to be a class act, especially from a networking and venue perspective (their next event is at the Union League Club of Chicago, which has their own Monet -- look for it in the staircase area off to the side if you attend). Later this month, I'll be facilitating a roundtable group at their Chicago Forum. If you're going to the event, be sure to sign up and join us for the interactive session: Beyond Strategic Sourcing 101: Making the Case for Commodity Management Approaches and Total Cost Modeling to Drive Cost Savings, Cost Avoidance and Risk Reduction. Spend Matters is excited to continue our collaboration with Procurement Leaders on a range of fronts this year, one of which you'll be hearing about in the not-to-distant future (which promises to shake up how we research and learn about how best to source and manage specific categories of spend).

- Jason Busch

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