Welcome to Commodity/PROcurement EDGE (Psst! Breakfast Is Served.)

First things first. Conference attendees, breakfast is served in the Rotunda.

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Now that the public service announcement is out of the way, the Spend Matters and MetalMiner teams are at the Hotel Sax by the Chicago River this morning for Commodity/PROcurement EDGE. Come 9 o’clock, we’ll start the conference with a brief welcome from Lisa Reisman, before keynote speaker William Strauss (or Bill, as he’s known) takes the stage to present a manufacturing and economic outlook.

Bill Strauss is a senior economist and advisor at the Federal Research Bank of Chicago, and a favorite at Spend Matters events. There’s a tendency for procurement events to “stay grounded in nitty-gritty procurement and supply chain topics,” Jason Busch says. “I think one element that has come to separate our approach from others is tying economics and policy into the procurement equation.”

“Every time I hear Bill speak, I learn something that I apply to my own analyses,” Jason says. “The ability to link procurement strategy not just to the overall business but also to the overall business climate is an art that few companies are practicing. If we can touch just a few in this regard through Bill's keynote, the public policy debate that follows (you can be sure the government shutdown will be on it the docket) and the individual commodity outlook sessions, then we will have succeeded with our agenda.”

This wide-net approach will extend to the technology breakout sessions as well. Pierre Mitchell, Thomas Kase, and Jason will be linking trends outside the supply chain to procurement strategy. Check back in an hour for Pierre’s commentary on the technology track presentations to come.

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